The first ever European Stone Stacking Championship was held on 22nd April 2017 in Dunbar, Scotland. With competitors from across Scotland, the UK, France and Spain in attendance to compete for the coveted prize of a trip to Texas for the World Stone Stacking Championship in 2018. With it’s unique geology and picturesque beach facing out to the famous Bass Rock the setting could not have been any more perfect.
The first competition of the day featured a most stones used in a vertical balance and the crowd were astonished as the balancers got to 15, then 20 and finally a winner with 33 rocks balanced vertically. This was a remarkable start to what turned into a most awe inspiring day. The winner of this competition was Pedro Duran (Spain), followed by UK’s own James Brunt and third was Rocia Agar Marco (Spain)
Next up was the junior competition and the chance for the first European Stone Stacking Champion to be announced, the coveted title went to Axel Meunier of France who produced balance skills and concentration well beyond his years. Axel became the first crowned champion of Europe and was awarded a scroll and some very special sea glass.
The next competition featured a Stack Off with two balancers together given 3 minutes to balance the same 5 stones. The crowd gathered in anticipation and were astounded by the skill on display, with a few glorious crumbling stacks and some audacious attempts the crowd was captivated. The winner was Manu Topic (France), With Dunbar’s own Ricky Prentice in Second and third place went to the immensely talented Franck Meunier (France).
The final competition of the day allowed the creative freedom of the stackers to be on show with so many varying styles of balance it was an incredibly spectacle, from sculptures and mandala’s to incredibly gravity defying angled stacks the competition was incredible. The winner was Caroline Walker (Scotland), runner up Ben Girvan (Dunbar) and third Jonathon Kitching (UK).
With the individual competitions decided it was on to the overall crowning of the Best European Stone Stacker 2017 which went to Pedro Duran, a worthy winner who consistently showed why he is one of the most famous balance artists on the planet.
The competition was held by DSAT Ltd (Dunbar Street Art Trail) and artistic and music social enterprise which seeks to bring new and unique events to the East of Scotland.
Organiser Steven Hill said “To bring together a group of people from across Europe and give them what can only be described as some of the most stunning coastlines in the world, then to see them produce artworks in one day was breathtaking. Visitors came from all over the UK to witness this event and see in person the gravity defying skill. Whilst a competition, this event was about bringing together a community of artists that have never previously had the opportunity to work together. The bonds and friendships formed can only be good for this community and with the huge media attention I’m sure we will see plenty more artists begin to get into Stone Stacking. How fitting that in the home of John Muir the worlds most important conservationist we see this competition take place. Stone Stacking is all about being at one with Nature and utilising the stones found in nature to produce transient artworks, the most natural form of Street Art you can find.”
The European Stone Stacking Championship was developed in close connection with the World Rock Balance Championship held in Llano, Texas each year and the two competitions give a platform for this global movements of artists.