Dromore man Colin Shirlow broke his own record for the most oysters eaten in three minutes on his way to retaining the World Oyster Eating Championship.
The championship took place recently as part of the 23rd Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, a highlight of the local events calendar.
This year’s event included a special challenge from a professional eater, Michelle Lesco.
Michelle flew all the way from Arizona in the USA to take on oyster king Colin, who has seen off a number of international challengers over the years.
Between them the two guzzled hundreds of oysters.
However, as always, local champ Colin ran away with the contest.
Taking part in his 11th annual championship, the Dromore man managed to put away a ‘shucking’ 235 oysters in just three minutes.
In doing so he narrowly broke his own world record for eating 233 oysters in three minutes, a record he set in 2005.
Colin was jubilant when he stepped up to collect his crown.
He said: “It’s astonishing that I’ve won the championship yet again and I am delighted to have beaten my record.
“Even if I didn’t win I would still take part in the contest.
“The Hillsborough Oyster Festival is a fantastic event.
“It’s so much fun and shows some of the best hospitality that Hillsborough has to offer.”
It’s could be said it’s hardly surprising the former boxer managed to beat the other contenders to the title – he’s done exactly the same thing during every single one of the 11 years he’s taken part in the competition.
This win was on the 10th anniversary of his World Record, which until now he had only managed to equal, in 2013.
As ever Colin puts his unusual technique down to the training he received during his boxing days.
“It’s about speed and rhythm,” he explained.
“You can’t get either until you focus but once you find the right rhythm then you just keep going.”
Others in the world of professional eating agree and many study Colin’s techniques from YouTube videos of the champ including the defeated Michelle Lesco.
“Of course I wanted to win,” admitted the 31 year-old teacher from Tucson.
“But this game is also about the taking part.
“Watching Colin go is like watching a machine.”