Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Tournament Held With New Safety Measures

Not even the pandemic could stop the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Competition on Saturday.

“Today we start off with the 52nd W.T Rabe International Stone Skipping Competition and nothing says Americana and the 4th of July better than that,” says Tim Hygh, Mackinac Island Tourism’s executive director.

He says his team has been planning this tradition for months to make sure it was safe for everyone.

“We’ve been in juggle mode since the first week in March, frankly.”

Hygh said, “We’re being very observant and we’re innovating every day to try to make things different if need be.”6 4 20 Mackinac Tourism 4th

Air Tight Alibi has been coming to the stone skipping competition for 15 years and says the concept is simple.

He says, “12 pros and each get six stones and it’s like a round-robin. And when you pick your stone you only have one minute to throw. But then you just skip, and the most skips win.”

And while some come to skip, others come to watch.

Except this year’s crowd is much smaller.

“It’s too bad you can’t have all the spectators. Because we usually have a couple hundred on the beach,” said Air Tight Alibi.

The winner of Saturday’s competition skipped 19 times in a row.

But Tim Hygh is happy to see island history live on.

Hygh says, “Who knew that 52 years ago ‘let’s go get a bunch of guys together to skip stones’ and it’s still living today.”

Air Tight Alibi says the secret to successfully skip stones is to throw underhand instead of sidearm.

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