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Hundreds at British stone skimming championships in Shropshire - with pictures

By Dominic Robertson | Bishop's Castle | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Competitors from across the country flocked to sun-soaked Shropshire to try to claim the British Stone Skimming Championship title.

The event, which took place in the idyllic surroundings of Walcot Hall in Lydbury North, was celebrating its 10th year, with hundreds of people attending to watch the competition on Sunday.

The men's title was claimed by Scottish skimmer Alex Lewis, who managed 97 metres with one of his efforts.

The distance was enough to take the title but not enough to break his own course record – set last year – of 107 metres.

Gary Bailey of Shrewsbury was the runner-up with a throw of 78 metres.

There was however a record breaker in the women's competition with Lina Tupou, from the Bishop's Castle area, smashing the previous best of 45 metres by recording a 50-metre effort.

The lane on the course is 120 metres long, with 245 sets of stones being thrown throughout the competition by around 200 competitors.

Each set gives competitors four goes to record their best effort.

As well as the main competition there were also a number of other stone-related competitions, including 'stone the crows', tabletop curling, and how many stones can you hold in one hand.

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Organiser Heather Ashton the stone holding competition had proved very popular.

Delighted

She said: "The how many stones can you hold in one hand might seem a bit funny but it is so popular. People were desperate to get that one last extra stone in their hand."

Mrs Ashton said they had been delighted with the way the day went, even if the temperature proved too much for some visitors.

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She said: "It was lovely but it was so hot that most people were having to find a bit of shade to have a picnic."

The organiser said that the main competition had also attracted a huge number of youngsters eager to have a go.

She said: "50 of the sets of 245 stones were thrown by under 12s. It was lovely, a real family feeling to it."

Mrs Ashton also offered her thanks to the owners of Walcot Lake, the Parish Family for hosting the event, and to the volunteers who had helped to put it on.

She said: "Mr and Mrs Parish let us use the lake and field for free. They are great to us, so a big thank you to them.

"We also had more than 50 volunteers of which eight were new ones on the team. They all worked exceptionally hard in the heat of the day and on the preparation beforehand but a special vote of thanks goes to Sam Angell who took on a major role for the heavy workload – moving stones, clearing the lake, loading and unloading the truck, cutting grass, putting up event shelters and generally being on hand to help out. As some of us get older it is wonderful to see the youth stepping forward."

The remaining categories saw Yeet Morris take the boys under 16 title with a throw of 57 metres, and Rosie Koffer claiming the girls under 16 prize with a throw of 15 metres.

In the under 12s Keaton Powell took the boys title with a 34.5 metre throw, while Erin Morris was the girls winner with a 10 metre effort.

The over 65s competition saw John Churcher claim the men's title with his 48 metre effort, while Mrs Ashton secured the women's prize with a 38 metre throw.

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