'The Old Tosser' wins again at the stone skimming championships on Windermere

'The Old Tosser' wins again at the stone skimming championships on Windermere

Ron Long from South Wales - a stone-skimming champion again

A young competitor has a go

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ENGLAND’S largest stone skimming competition splashed down in Windermere at the weekend.

The 2014 All England Open Stone Skimming Competition saw the highest number of entrants in its nine year history.

Competitors ranged from primary school students to the event’s winner, Ron Long, 70, from Wales.

There was an under 11 competition, an 11-16-year-old event and a competition for men and ladies.

Competitors get three throws. Each stone must bounce a minimum of three times and stay within two markers on the water.

Whoever throws the furthest stone wins.

Ron, known affectionately as 'The Old Tosser', has won the men’s event four times and even won the world championsip two years ago.

It came as no surprise to see him on top of the podium once more.

“I was born during World War Two in South Wales and it was pretty austere,” he said.

“There weren’t a lot of toys about so we used to throw stones into the river. I developed a pretty strong throwing arm. It was a nice feeling to win - as the years go by it becomes more of a battle. I have watched the sport grow and I have been instrumental in making it grow.”

According to Ron, the best stones to use are triangular because you can get more purchase on them - only a novice would use a round, flat stone.

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The event was organised by trustees of the South Cumbria Rivers Trust to help raise money towards keeping the Lake District’s waterways in top condition.

Julian Barratt, trustee of the trust, said: “There were 300 individual skims. We had a large number of children and they really enjoyed it. It was to raise money for our charity which tries to improve the waters and rivers that are so important to the Lake District.

"If we didn’t have clean waters there wouldn’t be the lovely Lake District and all the visitors that come with it.”

Results: Mens Open Event: 1 Ron Long 70m; 2 Kevin Waltham 69m; 3 Andrew Home 57m. Ladies Open:1 Barbara Maher 34m; 2 Hayley Banks 24m; 3 Barbara Waltham 18m. 11 to 16 year-old: 1 = Ben Nakhle-Edwards and Cian Menzies 58m; 3 Mike Athersmith 56m. Under 11: 1 = Oliver Andrew and Jacob Ward-Haslebow 28m; 3 Caleb Harniess 24m.

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