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Saturday, 31 January 2015

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Cumbrian teen crowned best girl stone skimmer in the world

A Cumbrian teenager Eleanor Moffat is a world champion with a difference.

Eleanor Moffat photo
Eleanor Moffat

For the second time in five years, 14-year-old Eleanor, of Wigton, is the best girl stone skimmer in the world.

She was crowned the winner of the girls’ junior section of the World Stone Skimming championships on the tiny Scottish island of Easdale, off Oban, at the end of September.

Thousands flock there every year for the contest. It attracts competitors from as far afield as Australia and America. The quirky contest also attracts worldwide media coverage and has featured on many high-profile television and radio shows.

Sporty Eleanor, who has competed for her school in shotputt, hockey and netball, has been taking part each year since 2006 - crowned junior girls champion on her debut. She then secured third place in 2007, 2008 and 2009 before regaining the world title last month.

Eleanor said: “I’ll be going back next year to do it again then we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll probably try it again when I move up an age group but I don’t know how I’ll do when I’m up against older people.

“I don’t really practise. I only really have a go the day before and on the day itself. I don’t know if there’s a knack, I just know I can do it!”

Eleanor, a year 10 pupil at Nelson Thomlinson School, visits Easdale regularly. Her mother Sandra Hodson said: “We’ve got a house on the island and so we go up there with our children and their friends.”

Competitors can use either pre-measured slate stones no more than three inches in diameter or take along their own, which must be passed by event organisers before they can be skimmed.

Each skimming stone must bounce at least three times for the attempt to count.

Those that travel the furthest, within a designated lane, win. Skims are judged on the distance thrown rather than the number of bounces. Eleanor won this year’s world title with a skim of 15 metres.

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