Hundreds attend annual World Stone Skimming Championships

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The World Stone Skimming Championships on Easdale Island engrossed hundreds of people this weekend – and even Red Bull were interested in the annual event.

The energy drink company set up a large tent and handed out free cans.

Organiser Donald Melville said: ‘They are considering sponsoring the event. They came down to see what it was like. I got an email from them saying thanks for a good day.

‘They will go back and report so we will see. They are keen to find out more. I don’t know what will come from it, if anything, but I think it ties in with Red Bull’s Soapbox Race – that quirkiness.’

Due to the amount of people attending the event, there was a one-hour-plus wait to leave Easdale on Sunday, despite two boats going back and forth as quickly as they could.

There was a new world champion this year: Peter Szep from Hungary. He came out on top in a five-person, three-stone skim-off.

In difficult conditions, Peter managed to hit the back wall and then with his other two attempts throw a total of  122 metres.

He saw off tough competition, including last year’s winner, Keisieke Hashimoto , who travelled all the way from Japan to defend his title.

Donald, whose voice was a little hoarse, said: ‘It went very well. The weather behaved itself. I think everyone had a really good time. Lots of folk were happy and laughing. That’s the main thing. I want everyone to go away having enjoyed themselves.’

There were around 350 competitors taking part in the event.

‘The day seemed to go like clockwork,’ Donald added.  ‘I don’t think anything went wrong. We were happy the rain did not come to much.

‘The weather conditions at the end made it tricky to know who would win as there was a bit of a chop in the water.

‘There were five people who made it through (by hitting the back wall) into the three-stone skim-off.

‘Keisieke came all the way from Japan for the event. It’s incredible to watch him do his wind up. The waves let him down.’

In the men’s competition, Peter Szep was the overall winner and world champion. Ron Long won the Old Tosser, and Jamie Melville won the Bertie.

Lucy Wood was the best woman on the day, throwing 38m, and Irene Tulloch was the women’s Old Tosser.

Cameron Hunter and Bea Del Priore were the junior champions, while Izen Bird and Lulu Bell were the under-10s winners.

After the event, there was a dance to celebrate.

Donald said: ‘The dance was great; the band were fantastic. Everyone was bouncing and dancing away to their heart’s content. The floor was full all night.’

A wedding band and a digital camera were found in the clean-up. The owners should email contact@stoneskimming.com.