It was a bright Saturday morning in Boothbay Harbor when people started arriving for the First Annual Orne's Candy Store International Rock-Skipping Contest. In fact, many potential rock-skippers arrived a half-hour before starting time. Some carried bags of rocks. Others had "rock carrying caddies" who trailed behind. All came to register with a smile and a nickname befitting the occasion and their own whims.
By 10 o'clock Judge Bob Paskal had taken his position on the Footbridge, facing the Inner Harbor so he could count skips and make his judgment, which the skippers soon learned were not to be questioned.
Overall, around 40 contestants joined this first-ever event in Boothbay Harbor, while close to 150 spectators stood around watching, laughing, cheering. It was a gala affair...minus the pomp and circumstance. The press was there. The local public television station was there. Moms. Dads. Wives. Husbands. Boyfriends and girlfriends. Grandparents with front row seats. The only thing missing was the cotton candy maker.
Kids and adults wore their rock-skipping names taped to their backs, names like City Skipper, Skip-a-tor, Rock-it, "Gorilla," The Slide, The Tall Skipper, Brooklyn Bomber and The Atomic Elbow.
And the winners were: In the Girls 12 and Under category, Ali "Rocks" Johnson; in the Boys category, Curtis "Rockinator" Herold. Winner in the Women's class was Margaret "Tall Skipper" Milikin, while the highly contested Men's class was won by Scott "Skip-Bo" Burnham. (Twenty-three men and one gorilla competed.)
Proceeds of $150 were collected and presented to this
year's local charity, the Boothbay Region Ambulance Service.