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The All England Open Stone Skimming Championships 2012 have enjoyed their most successful year ever, attracting more entrants than ever before, from locations across the country. Fell Foot Park, on Windermere’s southern shore, was packed with people wishing to contend for an official English sporting title, after organisers, South Cumbria Rivers Trust, had left no stone unturned in seeking to pull in the crowds with an exciting offer comprising skimming, stone-themed activities, some of the 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾ run by four National Trust rangers, pond dipping and food and drink.
The men’s title was retained by last year’s champion, Ron Long from Marton in Powys, who recorded a distance of 75 metres. The runner-up was James McCann from Kendal and third place went to David Elleray, also from Kendal.
The ladies title was taken by Heather Ashton from Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire, with a skim of 28 metres. She beat second-placed entrant, Linda Easton from Sherburn Hill, County Durham and Susan Gebbels from Hexham.
However, it was the youngsters who shone, almost as if the Olympics had inspired a generation to throw further than ever before. In the under 11s category, Cameron Hunter from Kendal threw a massive 36 metres, to set a new skimming record in this category at these official English championships. Second place went to Connol Ogden from Barrow and third to Kid Gallagher from Sunderland.
Another record was achieved in the 11-16 year old category, where Tom Jameson from Kendal skimmed a distance of 40 metres. Joe Hulme from Leek in Staffordshire came second and Scott McGowan from High Newton was third.
SCRT spokesperson, Julius Barratt, says: “We are truly delighted with this year’s event, which was extremely successful, despite not always having the best of weather on the day. The purpose of these Championships is to have a lot of fun, but to also allow men, women and young people to try to achieve something in a sport that is accessible to all. We feel this was most definitely the case.
“Our other aim is to use the event to raise funds for the vital conservation work conducted by South Cumbria Rivers Trust. By attracting so many people this year, we have managed to raise several hundred pounds, which will give SCRT projects a big boost”.