Oyster lovers prepare to take part in this year's world eating championships

Every year, the historic Northern Ireland village of Hillsborough in County Down plays host to hundreds of challengers who arrive to take part in the World Oyster Eating Championships.

The premise is simple; whoever consumes the most oysters in 3 minutes of the winner, and once again this years competitors will come up against Colin Shirlow, a local man who also holds the world record for consuming a staggering 233.

His amazing tally, recognised as a Guinness World record back in 2005, is even more remarkable when you consider he set it only days after tasting his first ever oyster when he attended a barbecue held by a friend of his.

“The oyster has to be lifted by the shell and scooped into the mouth, usually by a sucking motion, but you can only put one shell to your mouth at a time”, said Colin on his winning technique. “I don’t eat oysters at any other time of the year.”

The competition takes place every year in September and so far no one has been able to defeat 56-year-old Colin and take his world record. Festival chairman Sean Hall remarked: “We have had competitors from all over the world but local man Colin has come out on top year-on-year.

“Colin will be back at the Festival this year, which runs from 6-9th September, to defend his title. We would love to hear from interested contenders who think they have what it takes to be a record breaker”.

Anyone interested or requesting further information should get in contact with the Hillsborough Oyster Festival