Stone-skipping playoffs, Argyll

This item appears on page 65 of the February 2018 issue.

Held annually on Easdale Island in Argyll, Scotland, the World Stone Skimming Championships ( attract more than 200 of the best stone skimmers from around the world, along with many spectators. The 2018 event will begin at 12 p.m. on Sept. 23 at a pool in a former slate quarry.

Anyone can compete. Registration, at the Eastdale Island Community Hall, opens at 10 a.m. the day of the contest and continues to 1 p.m. or until 350 competitors have signed up. There are categories for all ages, with men and women over 15 paying £5 (near $7) and “Old Tossers” (over 60), £3. (Spectators attend free.)

Each entrant gets three Easdale slate rocks. For a skim to qualify, a rock must skip at least three times, with the total of the distances thrown (not the number of skips) over three throws determining the winner.

On the night (Saturday) before the event, a Pre-skim Party, with barbecue (7-9 p.m.), bar and live music, will be held at the Community Hall, with return ferries departing till midnight after the show.

The smallest permanently inhabited island in the Inner Hebrides, Easdale has an area of 62 acres and a permanent population of 59. It is reached via a 5-minute passenger ferry ride from Ellenabeich on the island of Seil, which is accessible from the mainland by road. The ferry runs 7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Sunday but must be summoned by pushing a button at the Ellenabeich ferry shed. The round-trip fare is £2.05.