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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 September 2005, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Scots dominate in stone skimming
Stone skimming
Competitors throw down a marked "skiting" lane
Scots have swept the board at the World Stone Skimming Championships which took place on the tiny island of Easdale, in the Inner Hebrides.

The venue for the sport, known as skiting, is said to have lots of beaches perfect for practising.

The stones must be slate and no greater than 3in in diameter.

Competitors range in age from 18-months to 80-years-old and the current record skim is 65m. A throw is judged on distance rather than number of bounces.

The championships are run by the Eilean Eisdeal (Easdale Island) Trust as a fundraising event.

We judge by distance rather than bounces, because after time a stone will actually aquaplane
Fiona Blakie
Event organiser

Contestants hail from around the world and the championships attracted some 220 participants this year.

Scots scooped first place in all six categories, despite facing challenges from competitors as far afield as Germany, Denmark, Australia and the USA.

One of the organisers, Fiona Blakie, told BBC Radio's Sunday Live programme that weather conditions were good for throwing.

She said: "It's definitely easier to score it if it's quite calm, we judge by distance rather than bounces, because after time a stone will actually aquaplane.

"The record is 65m, which is absolutely enormous. We hold the championship in one of the disused slate quarries here on Easdale Island and there's a lane of buoys set out within the quarry and you have to skim within that lane."

Bounce rules

Distance judges are positioned at 5m intervals along the quarry walls, which provides a natural arena for the sport's spectators.

Ms Blakie added: "One of the reasons it's held here on Easdale is the availability of natural slate, of the right size in particular."

Although throws are not measured in bounces, they must bounce at least three times and a long distance skite will skip about a dozen times before aquaplaning.

The event works as a major fund-raiser for local charity trusts.

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24 Sep 01 |  Scotland

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