Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thanks you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish)
Grab your best skimming stones ready for this Sunday’s world championships on Easdale.
Once the number of eager participants reaches 350 on the day, registration will close so get there early from 10am to 1pm, say organisers.
Competitors come from around the world to join in, previous champions have hailed from as far away as Japan. First started in 1983 by local man Bertie Baker, the contest was revived in 1997 as a fundraiser by The Easdale Island Community Development Group.
Coverage of the quirkiest championships has made it to BBC shows Blue Peter, Coast, The One Show and in publications such as Lonely Planet and the national press.
For those who cannot wait until Sunday and want to warm up for it, there is a pre-skim party on the Saturday at Easdale Island Community Hall with live music from four-piece rock cover band None The Wiser, playing tunes from Abba to The Cult and Queen.
There are no qualifying rounds and the first competition starts at noon.
There are rules to stick to, including all stones must be Easdale slate and be no wider than three inches, each contestant will have three skims per session. To be a valid skim, the stone must bounce off the water no less than twice.
Seven categories will make up the event, including overall champion, Old Tosser for 60 years of age competitors and older, and Bertie – the best Easdale Islander.
To have a go it is £5 for adults, £3 for ‘Old Tossers’, £2 for children aged 10 to 15, £1 for under-10s, and team members pay an extra £1 each to be part of the team competition.
Last year’s men’s winner was Peter Szep from Hungary whose cumulative skim win was a whopping 122m, best woman was Lucy Wood from England with 38m.
For anyone arriving by car to catch the ferry, there will be plenty of organised parking, including the free council-run public car park in Ellenabeich.
The former Highland Arts Centre car park now owned and being developed by Tony Hill of Seafari and the car park at Seil Island Hall will be charged at £5 for the day. Money raised will go to the hall funds.
Tidal restrictions might mean possibe short delays to the ferry at low tide around lunchtime.