Welsh Open Stoneskimming Championships25/05/2014
Sponsored by the Heart of Wales Brewery, Llanwrtyd Wells.
Unlike Bog Snorkelling, almost everyone has skimmed a stone at some stage of their life. "Ducks & Drakes" for the British; "Ricochets" for the French & "Letting the Frogs out" for the Ukrainians are just a few of the names for the game played in almost every Country in the World. But it is now more than just a game: This simple pastime has developed into two distinct branches of a competitive Sport.
The America discipline is termed "Stone Skipping" and has the object of achieving the maximum number of "bounces", whereas the British & European version "Stoneskimming" is concerned with the distance achieved. Both have their "World Championships". In the States it has been held for many years on Mackinac Island, Michigan, and here in Europe, now in its 15th year, on the Island of Easdale, Scotland.
Up until recently the Sport had been limited to just a few venues that had locally available "ammunition", the problem being the illegality of removing natural stones in bulk from water-courses and beaches for competitive use elsewhere. This problem has now been overcome. After much research and development by leading exponents of the sport, a range of "artificial" Skimming Stones have been produced. They bring a consistency of performance difficult to achieve with natural stones, however carefully selected, and bring a long overdue "level playing field". They are set to become the new "Clay Pigeons" of the skimming game.
Formed from re-constituted stone in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit all ages and capabilities, they will be available for use at the Welsh Open (which will also welcome contestants who might prefer to bring and use their own selected "natural" stones).
Green Events is working closely with Ron, and details of the rules, categories & layout for the event, together with information concerning other forthcoming competitions can be found on his website at www.ronlongoldtosser.eu
Due to the interest shown in the new format of this event and the anticipated attendance this year of previous UK-wide leading tossers, it has been decided to introduce an additional category for adult male contestants - the "STONED" Category. This category will be restricted to those competitors who have previously won a "Stone" (1st; 2nd; 3rd) in any of the major Skimming Competitions.
It has been recognised that it is quite daunting for new-comers and improvers in the Sport to find themselves up against the truly "long-rangers" of the game and so, by this innovation, it is hoped that the "STONELESS" will feel encouraged to compete in their own Category where, if successful, will result in their "promotion" and the entitlement to compete against the "STONED" in this, and subsequent events.
Whilst "STONED" competitors will be at liberty to make attempts during the course of the day, the main "Toss-Off" comprising four 5-stone attempts will be conducted at the conclusion of the main competitions.
Given the capabilities of the top competitors who have signified their attendance, there is high expectation, given calm conditions, that the former (World) Competition Record of 90 metres will be broken at this event.
Competitors in the adult male category should indicate if they are "STONED" or "STONELSS" at the time of registration.
Responding to a challenge by Tom Andrews from Ogmore by Sea (runner up in the 2012 Welsh Open), local man Ron Long (current World Champion) will compete in a 50 stone Head-to-Head which will take place during the day.
Welsh Open Competition Categories
Junior Female - Aged 6 - 11 (before 12th birthday)
Junior Male - Aged 6 - 11 (before 12th birthday)
Intermediate Female - Aged 12 - 16 (before 17th birthday)
Intermediate Male - Aged 12 - 16 (before 17th birthday)
Senior Female - Aged 17 and over
Senior Male - Aged 17 and over, who will be subdivided into:
"STONELESS" - those contestants who have yet to achieve a 'placing' in any of the Regional or World Championships
"STONED" - those who have, and who should register as such. Whilst free to make attempts as time allows during the day, the STONED will also take part in a 4 x 5 stone competition at the conclusion of the day's events.
Those achieving placings in the STONELESS Category will also be entitled to participate in this finale.
Whilst not seperate events, contestants should at the time of registration indicate their wish that their individual performances also be recorded in the following sub-categories:
OLD TOSSER - 60th birthday and over
TEAM - Four named contestants drawn from a single, or from mixed categories. (To ensure the widest competition, contestants in the STONED category should refrain from entering Teams)
In the case of team entries the aggregate score of all stones thrown (4 x 5) will establish the team total, however the best throw of each team member will also count at a personal level within the appropriate category.
At the conclusion of the main body of the competition (at a time to be annonced) and before the STONED finale, the top 3 performers in the Intermediate categories will be invited to participate in a Toss-off. This will take the form of an additional 2 x 5 stones. Toss-off competitors will have free entry, and provision of stones if required.
The final results in each Category will reflect the longest single throw by a competitor, performed at any stage of the competition.