FAIRFIELD BAY TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL
GREAT SOUTHERN STONE SKIPPING CHAMPIONSHIPS
TO BENEFIT ARKANSAS FOODBANK
Arkansas will host the second annual Great Southern Stone Skipping Championships on Saturday morning, September 2, 2017, at the Fairfield Bay marina on Greers Ferry Lake. Proceeds from the charitable event, hosted by Great Southern Stone Skipping Championships, Inc., an Arkansas nonprofit corporation, will go to Arkansas Foodbank and be divided equally among its member food pantries in Choctaw, Clinton, and Greers Ferry, Arkansas.
Last year’s event featured world-record holder and Pennsylvania native Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner who bested all other competitors to win the championships with 33 skips. “Surely, all of us here in the South who spend more time throughout the year on the water possess superior talents in skipping rocks as compared to our northern brothers and sisters,” said event co-founder John Baker. Baker, added “But that did not prove true at last year’s Championships, so I hope we can change that at this year’s event.”
Fellow board member and event co-founder, Alex Thayer, has been working to put Baker’s theory to the test. Thayer has been in communications with Russ Byars, the world record holder prior to Steiner. Byars, who has friends in Arkansas from his military days, is battling cancer, but still working to make the trek to Fairfield Bay from his home in Pennsylvania to compete. “Byars is the real deal,” said Thayer. “He skipped a stone a record 51 times in 2007 —it simply defies your eyeballs to see his stones keep going and going and going.”
The event is free to spectators and event t-shirts will be available for purchase. Those wishing to compete pay a $10 entry fee. Cash prizes of between $50 and $250 will be awarded for the top three finishers in the adult flight (13 and older) and the children’s flight (12 and younger). Judging will be performed by volunteer military veterans with keen eyesight. More information about the event, including sponsorship applications, can be accessed from the public group page on Facebook named “Great Southern Stone Skipping Championships.”
“We encourage families to bring out their lawn chairs and blankets and coolers (no glass) to enjoy the fun before they hit the lake for the traditional closing weekend of the summer,” said Thayer.
2017 GSSSC Event Schedule
I. Welcome, Pledge of Allegiance, and Commencement of Clinic and Warm Ups (9:00 a.m.)
II. Open Competitive Skipping (9:30 a.m.)
III. Skip Off (appx. 10:15 a.m.)
* Children’s Flight Finalists (top five from Open Competitive Skipping competition)
* Adults’ Flight Finalists (top five from Open Competitive Skipping competition)
IV. Recognition of Event Sponsors and Presentation of Awards (appx. 10:45 a.m.)
2017 GSSSC Rules of Play
1. Competitors who pay their enrollment fee and register at the event registration table will receive an official skip slip that bears their name. Skip slips for adults competitors (13 and older) and child competitors (12 and under) will be issued on different colored paper. Only one skip slip will be issued per person.
2. During Open Competitive Skipping, registered competitors may present their skip slip, on a first come first skip basis, to the skip captain who will be situated near the shore in an area immediately west of the five skip judges. Upon presentation of a skip slip, the skip captain shall examine the three stones sought to be skipped by the competitor. Once the skip captain confirms that the competitor’s stones are not man-made, the competitor’s name is recorded by the skip captain in either the adult log or children’s log and thereafter the competitor is entitled to three skips to be made without delay and with no part of his or her body touching water.
Five skip judges will observe, with only the naked eye, each competitor’s skip and thereafter caucus in private to arrive at an adjudged number of skips associated with each skip. Each skip’s adjudged number of skips will be immediately recorded by the skip captain in the adult log or children’s log, and if 10 skips or greater in number, immediately displayed to the spectators by the skip signer. The top number of skips among a competitor’s three skips shall be recorded by the skip captain as the competitor’s top skip score.
3. The five adult competitors and five children competitors achieving the highest number of skips in the Open Competitive Skipping shall advance to the Skip Off which shall be conducted in the same manner as in Open Competitive Skipping, except that each finalist shall be entitled to five skips.
Past GSSSC winners
(as inscribed in the GSSSC “Scroll of Skippers”)
2016 Winners – Adult Flight 2016 Winners
1st place – Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner, Erie Penn. 33 Skips
2nd place – Drew “The Canadian” Quayle, Hamilton, Canada 20 Skips
3rd place – Todd Dallin, Mountain Home, AR. 19 Skips
2016 Winners – Children Flight
1st place – Rustin Holt (11), Shirley, AR 13 Skips
2nd place – Andrew Baker (12), Little Rock, AR 19 Skips
3rd place – Olivia Treece (8), Greenbrier, AR 5 Skips