Lonely Planet puts Easdale event up there with the 2012 Olympics

(Updated below) And why not?

The Lonely Planet travel guide has listed a range of ‘must see’ and widely varying sporting events across the world – and in there is the uniquely serendipitous World Stone Skimming Championships held on Argyll’s Easdale Island every September.

This publicity is  not going to hurt the already widely supported event, with 19 nations represented at last year’s fiesta and ambitions for 2012 now rushing skywards.

A choice of the Olympics in London or the World’s Stone Skimming splashdown in Easdale is the easiest imaginable. Who would vote for the crush, the queuing, the rip off prices, the restricted view, the security presence, the scramble for food and loos of London 2012 when…

If you opted for Easdale you could actually do something yourself, have a laugh, meet a lot of people from a lot of places, be entertained in ways only the imaginative inhabitants of this tiny former slate island can invent, eat and drink in the Puffer Bar and restaurant, ceilidh in the wonderful village hall – having already seen the Olympics free, with the best view of all – on the box.

Update 22.30 8th January

Since we published this article we have been told that during last year’s (2011) World Stone Skimming Championship at Easdale,  money was stolen from the island’s museum and the toilets at the village of Ellenabeich (at the Seil end of the short ferry journey over to Easdale island) were vandalised; and that two years earlier, money was stolen from the ferry shed on the island.

This sort of conduct is not, of course, the fault of the event organisers but it does sour the feel good factor of the event and it must make local feeling ambivalent. We will talk to the organisers of this year’s event and agree an approach to reporting and, we hope, promoting, which works to emphasise the imperative of  respect for a hospitable place. It is all too easy to kill the goose.

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7 Responses to Lonely Planet puts Easdale event up there with the 2012 Olympics

  1. Excuse me? ForArgyll wouldn’t be getting a “bung” to advertise the Puffer Bar would it? Or Easdale Island? Surely not! (See many previous so-called articles that are actually advertising bumf for said pub and island.)

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    • For Clootie Dumpling: The only bung we know about is the one that stops a boat taking in water.

      We simply put what energy we can behind the places where we find energy. There’s not enough of it around.

      No place is perfect and everyone who lives anywhere has a subjective view of that place, which can be positive or negative but is rarely indifferent.

      A tiny island like Easdale punches well above its size – as does its Puffer – because it’s always working to make things better, more sustainable, fun. The arts programmne in the Hall is enviable – and as for the Stone Skimming… who wouldn’t smile?

      For Argyll will always back positive energies, resourcefulness and inventiveness with everything it’s got. Without these things, nothing gets anywhere.

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  2. The British call it ‘stone skimming’, the Americans call it ‘stone skipping’, the Irish call it ‘stone skiffing’ and the French call it ‘ricochet’. In fact most countries have their own terminology for this ancient game. Confusingly the English also refer to it as ‘Ducks and Drakes’.

    The Guinness World Stone Skipping Record was 38 skips, established by Jerdone, in 1994 in Texas on the Blanco River near Wimberley.

    The official world championships have been held by NASSA since 1989. It was NASSA who were instrumental, in first, defining what is a ‘skip’, and secondly, at the request of Guinness, suggesting verification guidelines. The I.S.S.F., the International Stone Skipping Federation, (NASSA’s ‘parent’), is the Official Guinness Adjudicator for stone skipping records. As far as I am aware the ISSF have not applied for inclusion in the Olympics and Easdale has not applied for membership of the I.S.S.F. and therefore the Easdale event must be deemed unofficial.

    On this picturesque and largely crime free island, it is unfortunate that this event seems to attract the criminal element to this industrial free conservation area.

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  3. It seems probable that in its own modest way the Easdale Island stone skimming event is likely to have more financial impact locally and in Scotland than the jamboree about to take place in London this summer. Declarations made when the IOC contract was secured that the London Olympics would have a UK wide benefit have so far proved predictably illusory.
    Public sector expenditure from the UK Treasury on this is running at present in the region of around £2,700 million and anyone who believes that this will be the final figure could probably get a well paid job at the MoD.
    To date the equivalent “Olympic” pse spend in Scotland is almost £1 million and this has to be reckoned along with the diversion of a sum in excess of £100 million rerouted from National Lottery funding that would normally have been used for Scottish based sports , arts and charitable projects.

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  4. Couldn’t agree more with the Lonely Planet. My husband, Mark Tulloch & I, went to this event for the first time last year and it was great. He came second in the “old Tossers” and 9th overall and having been a competitive rugby and cricket man in his younger days, Mark was fair chuffed.

    We hadn’t realised till we arrived that we would be taking a wee boat over to the Island, what excitement even in the rain and dreichness. We got thoroughly soaked, had great burgers, met some lovely people, had a laugh and Mark has found a sport he can still compete well in.

    Mark will be going for it big time this year.

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