The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival is right around the corner and excitement is building for the Turkish Airlines World Oyster Eating Championship on Saturday September 3.

Colin Shirlow has been the undefeated oyster eating champion with his Guinness World Record of consuming 235 oysters in 3 minutes, taking on competitors from around the globe. As Colin prepares for his 11th oyster eating competition, he shelled out some of his pearls of wisdom…


1. Get low

Practice your downward facing dog and toe-touching yoga poses because Colin attributes his leaning body pose while eating to his ability to speed-eat. Although it’s not comfortable, leaning over a table for 3 minutes requires a strong amount of core-muscle stamina.

2. Smooch before you shuck

Colin’s tested technique to stuff his face faster with oysters involves timing himself with a stopwatch as he touches his kitchen table with his lips to get acquainted with a steady rhythm in the run-up to the festival.

3. Hand eye co-ordination

As an ex-boxer, Colin believes the key to successful oyster-slurping is having good hand-eye co-ordination so done those boxing gloves and have a few rounds with the speed bag if you’re thinking about getting in the ring with the oyster eating king.

4. Don’t compete on an empty stomach

Colin starts every tournament day with a hearty breakfast of porridge and then a substantial lunch before the competition starts in order to keep his stomach swelled at all times.

5. Prepare your oysters

Each competitors’ first platter will come serving 30 shucked oysters but before the gorging begins, take some time to make sure all the oysters are loose in their beds and are facing the same way, oysters have a shallow and a deep end so slurp from the wider side.

26 May 2016 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

Colin is hoping to retain his title at Hillsborough International Oyster Festival on September 3. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

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