Held in the picturesque spot of Lake Windermere in the Lake District on August 19th, the South Cumbria Rivers Trust (SCRT) has been promoting the This Girl Can message to encourage more women to take part.
The This Girl Can campaign, created by Sport England, has been endorsed in the wake of Charlotte Greenway’s recent success at last month’s British Stone Skimming Championships. Her record-breaking throw reached 45 metres, as compared to women’s heats averaging 28-32 metres. Given the more challenging conditions of Lake Windermere, say organisers anything can happen.
The SCRT also hope that Charlotte will inspire others, as SCRT Trustee Julius Barratt said: “We have long wanted to find ways to encourage more women to have a throw, but gentle encouragement and even direct appeals on the megaphone have seen relatively few stepping up to the stone skimming mark.” He continues, “We need to spread the ‘This Girl Can’ message in this sport, just as much as in others, and we hope that role models like Charlotte Greenway can help us to do that.
“Absolutely anybody can enter the competition, which has different bands such as 10 and under, as well as a team competition. The competition at Lake Windermere also raises funds for conservation work in the South Lakes, so bring the whole family and have a great day out whilst helping wildlife in the process. You never know, you may smash some records as well!
The All England Open Stone Skimming Championships take place between 11am and 4pm on August 19th and entry is open to all. Head over to the SCRT’s website for more details. Stone skimming is also on the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ list.
If you are feeling inspired, then check out the SCRT’s top tips below, as well as the best places for stone skimming in the UK.
- Choose a flat stone that you can hold in the palm of your hand.
- Hold the stone with your thumb and first finger out and rest the stone on your second finger.
- Adopt a sideways stance and flick the wrist as you throw and release the stone.
- Throw the stone as forcefully as possible and keep as low as you can when throwing it, bending the knees. You should try to get the stone spinning in as flat a line as possible and can even try to get level with the water, before you throw.
- Let it hit the water at an angle of about 20 degrees. The heavier the stone, the less the angle should be.
- YouTube is a great place to find tutorials if you need more help.
Best places for stone skimming in the UK
Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia
Pebbles and relatively flat water are a must for excellent stone skimming. The bank on the far side makes this lake the ideal location to get some practise in. It is also relatively small and so good for beginners.
Budleigh Salterton, Devon
This shingly beauty is situated on the southern coast of Devon, meaning that you won’t get the rougher waves characteristic of the north coast disturbing your skims.
Easdale Island, Scotland
This island in the Inner Hebrides is home to the World Skimming Championships, which take place every September. Perhaps this is because of the slate found in the area, which skimming enthusiasts claim is some of the best quality around.
Holy Island, Northumberland
Yes, this actually is an island! There’s plenty of wildlife and flora to discover here too. History more your thing? This island is home to Lindisfarne Castle and Lindisfarne Priory, the centre of Anglo Saxon Christianity. Do take care though: this island gets cut off twice a day so be sure to check tide times before you go.
You can choose to skim stones across the sea at this beach, or continue walking along the coast for other locations. Font-y-Gary Bay in Barry is a sheltered family-friendly which is perfect for stone skimming, or if you’re up to it you can continue to Llantwit Major. Be cautious of the sand along Penarth and Llantwit Major however – people have been known to get stuck!