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Stone us! Russ has 51 skims.

Byline: ANTON ANTONOWICZ in New York

THE world record for stone skimming will belong to Russell Byars for some time, experts insist.

The contest-winning missile by the 43-year-old nicknamed Rock Bottom touched a river's surface 51 times before sinking - an amazing 11 "hits" more than the previous best.

And now that the Guinness Book of Records has confirmed his feat, one rival has remarked: "Russell is on a new plateau."

Brian Barnett describes himself as Pennsylvania's High Commissioner of Stone Skipping - the US name for the sport.

He said of Byars' July triumph on the state's Allegheny waterway: "I knew he'd be trouble when he did a clinic for kids last year and I counted 50."

Russell only started skimming eight years ago when he moved to the local town of Franklin.

But he reckons his latest stone travelled 250 feet - though when asked his secret, he replied: "Know what, I just don't know."

The nine-second film footage of his record is on prostoneskipping.com.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2007
Words:169
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