Tuesday, October 02, 2007

American shatters world stone-skipping record

An American man has been named the new official world stone-skimming champion after casting a stone that skipped on water an astonishing 51 times.

Russell Byars, a 43-year-old engineer from Pennsylvania, shattered the previous world record of 40 skims on July 19 - but it took officials from the prestigious Guinness Book of Records until this weekend to declare him the new record holder.

Mr Byars, known as "Rock Bottom" by his fellow stone-throwing aficionados, smashed the record at French Creek on the Allegheny River, about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, with a prodigious effort which he estimated travelled 250 feet (76 metres).

It is a remarkable achievement for a man who only took up the sport eight years ago while walking his dog Bear, and who claims the sole motivation in trying his hand was to "win fudge" in regional competitions.

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