Agricultural Fair skillet toss goes the distance

Karena Hammarlund of West Tisbury put her all into her toss to take first place in the 30 to 45 year-old age category. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

If the skillet toss ever advances from the West Tisbury Agricultural Fair to a place in Olympic competition, the Vineyard will be well represented.

On Sunday afternoon, the last day of the fair, 75 women used a combination of body English, technique, and strength to toss a four-pound cast iron skillet as far as it would fly, much to the delight of a crowd of spectators gathered in the bleachers.

The outfits were as varied as the techniques. Participants excited spectators with winning throws, interesting outfits, and skillet blunders. A few errant throws narrowly missed fair volunteers.

The women competed in four age divisions. Ashley Medeiros of Vineyard Haven, competing in the 18- to 29-year-old division, was the champion of the day. She outdistanced the rest of the field with a skillet toss of 54 feet,10 inches.

Karena Hammarlund won the 30- to 40-year-old competition, with a throw of 51 feet, one inch. Ms. Hammarlund took second overall.

In the 46- to 64-year-old division, Melissa Manter threw her skillet 42 feet, and Harriet Kantrowitz won the 65 years and older category with a throw of 32 feet, 10 inches.

After the skillet toss concluded, the regulation four-pound pans were put away in a secure location until next summer.