Oyster Shucking Contest
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Oyster Shucking Contest

36th Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival

- Oyster Shucking Contest -

Join us to celebrate the WORLD’S BEST OYSTERS on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd at the 36th Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival! Once again, we have expanded our seafood celebration to include an Oyster Shucking Contest. We invite all amateur shuckers to register at the event on Saturday. The professional Oyster Shucking Shoot Out™ contestants can register online at www.ncoyster365.com, www.NCSeafoodFestival.org or at the Festival with a $25 entrance fee. Professional shuckers must be registered by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1st. The professional Oyster Shucking Shoot Out ™ will be held in multiple heats on Sunday, October 2nd.

We especially encourage contestants from the seafood industry, shucking houses, restaurants, and oyster farms to come out and show your talents. We will host several contests throughout the day for men and women. The competition will be spectacular to witness and there will never be a dull moment! The best oyster shuckers will go head-to-head in a final competition!

The Oyster Showcase and Shucking Contest are brought to you by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Shellfish Growers Association and NCOyster365.

Competition format: The Oyster Shucking Shoot Out™ will consist of timed trials where contestants will shuck six (6) locally grown oysters. Each oyster will be from a different North Carolina shellfish farm. A wild harvest oyster will also be included in the selection. All oysters will be randomly selected by the judging committee. The contestant will remove the oysters from the container provided and arrange for shucking. At the signal of the Chief Judge, the timekeepers will start their stopwatches and the shuckers will commence shucking. Contestants must place each oyster on an unbroken half-shell and arrange neatly on a tray provided. When a contestant has finished shucking and is satisfied with the arrangement of shucked oysters, he/she will raise their hands and the timekeepers will stop their stopwatches. When the shuckers raise their hands, the judges will take over the tray of oysters and begin judging each oyster. The shucker may not touch the tray of oysters after they have signaled completion.

All rulings by judges are final. Presentation is of utmost importance. An appetizing arrangement of oysters will be rewarded. Judges will add penalties to shucking time accordingly:

● An oyster not completely severed from shell ……….………….add 2 seconds
● An oyster presented on a broken shell……………….…………….add 1 second
● An oyster presented with grit, blood or other foreign substance…add 1 seconds
● A cut oyster………………………………………………………..….add 1 seconds
● An oyster not placed properly in the shell………………………add 1 seconds
● A missing Oyster……………………………………………………..add 10 seconds

The Chief Judge will declare the winner by the shucker with the fastest time, including all penalties and bonuses. Amateur contest will be judged based primarily on time without penalties in the event of a tie or very close finish times the judges will award the winner with the best shucked oysters based on the criteria listed above.

The NC Seafood Festival assumes no liability for injury. Shuckers may wear gloves and use their own knives. A sample of gloves and knives will be provided so that everyone can compete!

Chief Judges:
Ryan Bathea, Owner of Oysters Carolina; Representative of North Carolina Shellfish Growers Association
Tres Hundertmark and Doreen Rivers-Graham Owners of NCOyster365

Ken Riley, Shucking Contest Coordinator
North Carolina Seafood Festival Board Chair
(252) 864-6193

Amateur Competition: Saturday, October 1st at 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Professional Competition: Sunday, October 2nd
Preliminary Heats will be at 12:00 p.m. and the Finals will be at 3:00 p.m.

The following awards for the Professional Competition will be given at the end of the Final Heat:

1st Place: $500

2nd Place: $300

3rd Place: $200

If you are interested in signing up for the Professional Oyster Shucking Contest, please click here: https://www.ncoyster365.com/nc-seafood-festival-oy... There is a $25 entry fee. Professional shuckers must be registered by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1st.

If you are interested in signing up to compete in the Amateur Oyster Shucking Contest, click on the link below.

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