STONE skimmers from across the country are set to test their skill and strength at the All England Open Stone Skimming Championships.

Proud Scot, Alex Lewis, will return to defend his crown.

He swept to victory in 2019 with the championships’ current record throw of 95 metres.

He will compete against a stacked lineup of throwers including previous record-holder Gareth Twamley, the 2018 winner, as well as his fellow countryman, Ron Long, who won the tournament in 2017.

The competitors will go head-to-head on Windermere on August 17.

The secret to a good skim lies in the bend of the knees, with the aim being to get as close to the water as possible.

There also needs to be some flexibility in the hand.

The stone should be held in a C shape between thumb and middle finger, with the index finger resting on its edge, to help it spin on release.

The flick of the wrist is also key.

Technique out-performs muscle-strength when it comes to stone skimming and a little mathematical knowledge comes in handy too. The ideal thing is to try to get the stone to hit the water at between 10 and 20 degrees.

Alex Lewis, 22, from Helensburgh, Scotland, said he's excited for the event and is feeling good about retaining his title.

He said: "I'm feeling confident, I've been training really hard and I'm keen to retain my title.

"Windermere is a wonderful place to hold the contest, I'm really looking forward to it.

"It would be great to win again this year, I've been specifically training for this event because the conditions are different and you have to throw differently.

"Whatever the outcome though, I'm going to enjoy myself."