Cumbria

Stone-skimming champion beats own record on Windermere

Alex Lewis Image copyright South Cumbria River Trust
Image caption Alex Lewis won despite having an elbow injury

The UK's reigning stone-skimming champion has retained his title - breaking his own record to boot - despite being injured.

Alex Lewis, 22, claimed the coveted crown with a 98m (321ft) throw - dwarfing his previous 95m (311ft) best.

The Scottish property developer was nursing a strained elbow as he rocked up to the annual Lake District contest.

He said he was "delighted" at the win, but disappointed at missing out on a hallowed "Centurion" (100m) skim.

Mr Lewis, from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, said: "The skim was a good one, but it tailed off at the end just when I was hoping to make it a Centurion."

He was among dozens of contestants at the All England Open Stone Skimming Championships at Fell Foot Park on Windermere.

'Peerless skim'

Now in its 11th year, hundreds gathered to watch Saturday's competition, organised by the South Cumbria Rivers Trust.

Spokesman Julius Barratt said they had been "blessed by the weather", which he credited with helping "another record skim this year".

"The athleticism of the top skimmers really is at another level these days," he said.

"Alex retained his crown with a peerless skim."

The 2017 winner Kevin Waltham, from Newcastle, came second with a 74m (242ft) skim, while Ron Lon, from Gabalfa, north Cardiff, came third with 71m (232ft).

Image copyright South Cumbria Rivers Trust
Image caption Ron Long came third with a skim of 71m (232ft)

The women's category was won by Christina Bowen Bravery, who threw 41m (134ft), edging out former champ Barbara Maher and her 39m (127ft) skim.

Competition rules stipulate stones no more than 3in wide must be sourced from the area and must bounce on the water a minimum of three times before sinking.

According to the trust, Dougie Isaacs holds the current world record with an impressive 107.4m (352ft).

Image copyright South Cumbria Rivers Trust
Image caption The event was organised by the South Cumbria Rivers Trust

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