Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Yes, I'm back and survived yet another wonderful day of oystering at Rodney's Oyster Festival.
If you were there, you and 600 of your closest friends saw some of the finest speed shucking this side of an F1 test track.
Amongst the revelers, there were 30 of the old, and new crew to the shucking world. Old greats like Scotty Shallow - shucks once a year now, at the Festival, used to swing from the rafters with me at the old ROH - "took it easy" on the crew, and shucked a 1:50something, while Geoff Meikle, nearly received a "delay of game" penalty for his saucy set-up ritual which set me to laughing as only GM could pull off.
In the end, the contest set myself against Eamon Clark - RTC's son, and head shucker of 469.
The crowd was already geared up and raging. Chanting of names, thumping music, and pints of beer, got the place on fire like a Man-U football batch.
On the Go we were off and we blasted through the set of 18 oysters. I got snagged on two that I didn't like with "pucks" - a fragment of the top shell stays attached to the adductor muscle - takes too long to remedy, just pick the back-up oyster instead.
At two oysters left the noise was deafening, and I knew that Eamon would finish first as I was behind by two back-up oysters (shucking 20 to make the plate of 18). When his hands went skyward, signaling the end of his shuck, for a split second, silence. The silence heard before the sonic boom of a jet passing like you see in all of those movies. Then a wall of sound rushed past so loud I could feel it. Then I finished my plate, and tapped out. Best sensation shucking with a monster like that.
When you are put in a heat with a fast horse, you cannot help but to be pushed along. I shucked the plate in 1:29 (20 oysters) to Eamon's blistering finish of 1:22. Thank you Eamon for such a finish!!
After the judges took their time with the plates, Eamon took first, with fastest AND cleanest plates (first time for that to happen at the Ontario's) Dave from ROH took second, and yours truly took third.
Of excellent note as well, Bruce of Starfish came in 10th, Lisa Millen of Starfish cam in 9th, LJMDavid of Starfish pulled off 5th, and Dom of The Ceili Cottage, shucking only for 3 weeks, tapped out a 1:55 flat time (finishing unknown as of yet). Thanks and congratulations to the crew!! You all did terrifically well.
Come on down and see some of the fine shucking going on at the Cottage or Starfish any day of the week!!