AN INTERNATIONAL competition which attracts people from throughout Europe to Dunbar has been postponed.

The European Stone Stacking Championships were due to take place between April 17 and 19, with a place at the World Rock Stacking Championships in Texas next year up for grabs.

However, James Craig Page, creator and director of the festival, broke the news that the event, like dozens of others across the county, had to be postponed amid concerns surrounding coronavirus.

Mr Page said: “It has been postponed but we are very hopeful that we will find another venue or be able to go ahead at a different time.

“However, for the time being we have to postpone.”

This year would have marked the fifth year a stone stacking event had taken place in Dunbar event.

Each year, it attracts thousands of people to the area, as well as competitors from throughout Europe.

Mr Page spoke to the Courier upon returning from the World Rock Stacking Championships in the USA last month.

Initially, he was keen to see the European event, which takes place at Eye Cave Beach, off Bayswell Road, take place.

However, upon returning to British shores, he became aware of the state of the global issue.

Speaking to the Courier, he said: “We were just waiting for word and advice but it became apparent when I got back how bad things were and that we needed to put it on hold.

“We don’t want to be taking any risks with anybody’s health and wellbeing. The event is all about promoting health and wellbeing.

“Our sponsors this year were the Edinburgh Science Festival and they have had to postpone their events, which is really disappointing because they had a great programme.”

One option would be to see the European Stone Stacking Championships take place in September at the Land Sand Stone Art Festival in Bridlington, Yorkshire.

Mr Page stressed the event would be a loss to Dunbar’s economy. He said: “I think it is one of the busiest times for the shopkeepers. It is really sad that this is affecting everybody’s business.”

The competition is broken down into several different events, ranging from balancing as many stones as possible vertically to creating the most artistic display.

The organiser said it was about more than simply balancing stones.

He said: “It is all about getting people into nature and looking after your health and your mental health through interacting with nature and creativity.

“We were expanding it to include a family event, which would have been really good.”