Wellfleet OysterFest-Shucking Contest

Shucking Contest...

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I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
— Zora Neale Hurston
Download Shuck Off Rules Here
Download Shuck Off Application Here


William “Chopper” Young, Jr. won the 14th annual Wellfleet OysterFest Shuck Off for the fourth time, taking home a new trophy of a steel oyster shell crafted by local artist Steve Swain. He is the first person to win the contest four times. He shucked 24 oysters in one minute fifty seconds, which after penalties came to a final time of 3:07. His winnings were $1,000.

In a crazy turn of events, the other two Shuck Off finalists, James Gray and Calen Bricault, tied, which created two second place winners with a time after deductions of 3:42 for each of them. James finished shucking his 24 oysters 1:51, while Calen finished his in 2:09. Both were awarded the $500 second place prize.

The new trophy will be engraved with all 14 Shuck Off winners since the beginning of the Wellfleet OysterFest. It will be put on display in a public location, and the current year’s winner will be able to take it to other competitions and appearances to spread the word of Wellfleet’s contest and festival and its famous oysters.

photo credit Lezli Rowell

Contest Winners
2014 - William "Chopper" Young, Jr. - 3.07 min.
2013 - Barbara Austin - 3.06 min.
2012 - James Gray - 2.24 min.
2011 - Camden Holland - 2.28 min.
2010 - Kyle Morse - 3.08 min.
2009 - William "Chopper" Young, Jr. - 2.05 min.
2008 - James Gray - 1.47 min.
2007 - Barbara Austin - 2.51 min.
2006 - Barbara Austin - 3.52 min.
2005 - William "Chopper" Young, Jr. - 2.55 min.
2004 - Paul Suggs - 1.55 min.
2003 - Karl Barrio - 2.56 min.
2002 - William "Chopper" Young, Jr.
2001 - Keith Rose

Cape Cod’s famous Oyster Shuck-Off at the annual Wellfleet OysterFest boasts fierce competition, as men and women hunker down and shuck like they never shucked before. Contestants are given 24 oysters to quickly rip apart at the seams. But speed isn’t the only crucial element; aesthetic presentation counts, too. Controversial rulings have been known to fire up the crowd of thousands, as devastating time penalties are added for broken shells, massacred oysters, and blood shed from slashed fingers. Adventurous members of the audience dodge flying shells in hopes of bidding on trays of the briny delicacies and eating a piece of oyster history.
The fastest oyster shuckers in the area, including Wellfleet commercial fishermen and chefs from near and far.
Oyster Shuck-Off at the Annual Wellfleet OysterFest put on by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting.
Main Stage behind Town Hall, 300 Main Street, Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Mass. 02667 (less than two hours from Boston).
Saturday (preliminaries) and Sunday (finals), during the Wellfleet OysterFest, held annually the weekend after Columbus Day. Time is usually 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., but check schedule for updates.
Winner earns a $1,000 cash prize and qualifies to compete in the National U.S. Oyster Shucking Championship Contest in St. Mary's County, Maryland.
Barbara Austin won the Wellfleet OysterFest Shuck-Off for the third time with a preliminary time of two minutes and five seconds, adjusted to a final time of three minutes and six seconds after penalties. She remains the only woman to ever win the Shuck-Off in Wellfleet and has qualified to participate in the National Oyster Shucking Championship in Leonardtown, Md. next year.
Interviews with past winners and current title-holders can be arranged upon request.If you are a member of the media interested in sending a camera to capture this electrifying contest, email : info@wellfleetoysterfest.org
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