World Stone Skimming Championships under threat

Jonathan Feigenbaum, who owns the disused quarry on Easdale where the event takes place, wants to charge a land use fee for the first time in its 15-year history.

He has threatened legal action against the Eilean Eisdeal Community Trust, which organises the event, if they try to press ahead with this weekend’s event.

The organisers are also being asked to produce public liability insurance, which protects against damages claims from participants or spectators who are injured in the championships…

Donald Melville, one of the organisers, told BBC Scotland: “We have held the event for 15 consecutive years in the quarry with the island owner’s permission.

I think it is a big disappointment. We have run the thing properly and professionally. We get a proper health and safety assessment done and stick to the recommendations in that.

“People come along and have a fantastic day. It is good fun and it just seems a shame that we are going to have £1,000 less, possibly, to put into community run events on the island.”

In my neck of the prairie we call it “stone skipping” – not skimming. No matter. One of the few lifetime sports where my skill level is comparable to or greater than people half my age. An important psycho-social consideration if you’re anywhere near as psycho or anti-social as I am.

Looking at the big picture, I have to say humankind would probably be a century or so further along the path to a better life – without the invention of either lawyers or insurance companies.

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