Global ‘Oyster’ Icon Launches Search for Protégé

World Oyster Eating Champion, Colin Shirlow, has launched the search for a protégé as he celebrates the tenth anniversary of his Guinness World Record achievement of eating 233 oysters in 3 minutes.

Still undefeated, the Dromore man, now aged 59, has learned that his unique oyster-eating technique is being studied by some of the world’s top competitive eaters to help them improve their own performance and he is hoping to share this technique with an aspiring future king or queen of oyster-eating.

“I had never eaten oysters before I undertook my first challenge at the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival back in 2005,” said Colin. “So this year, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of my Guinness World Record, I am keen to find someone who, just like me, doesn’t yet know that they have what it takes to be the next World Oyster Eating Champion.”

One of the world’s top competitive eaters, who has closely studied Colin’s technique is owner, Randy Santel.   Only last year Randy completed a series of eating challenges in Northern Ireland, including massive breakfasts and oversized burgers. Randy comments, “I have closely followed the sport of competitive eating since 2010, and individual eaters from the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA who compete in global food challenges. The World Oyster Eating Championship has been of great interest to me and I’ve watched all of the videos on YouTube and have used Colin’s techniques in every oyster eating contest I’ve done. Everyone in the USA does. He is absolutely flawless and unstoppable.”

In recent years Colin has been challenged by some of the best and the fastest competitive eaters in the world, including Matt Stonie, Sonya ‘The Black Widow’ Thomas, Miki Sudo, and Bob Shoudt, none of whom have managed to get near Colin’s world title. Randy explains, “Most competitive eaters in the USA specialise in quantity and speed with large items such as hot dogs, pizza, and burgers. Speed eating oysters is an entirely different ballgame and one for which Colin has developed a truly unique technique.”

Colin adds, “I hadn’t really thought of my technique as being truly unique and I take this as a real compliment. I am very chuffed that my technique is something which is helping to inspire professional competitive eaters and I wonder if my former boxing career has helped in the development of this?”

The World Oyster Eating Championship is a key feature of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, which is being held from 1st to 6th September 2015. If you are interested in learning from global oyster icon, Colin Shirlow, and participating in this year’s World Oyster Eating Championship please contact the event organisers on

For further information on the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival please visit