(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.