Shellfish Festival Oyster Shucking Contest

Represent BC at the 2011 World Invitational Oyster Shucking Championship during the PEI Shellfish Festival in Charlottetown, PEI this September!

Grand Prize: A return flight to Charlottetown, PEI to compete in the 2011 World Invitational Oyster Shucking Championship departing Friday, September 16 until Monday, September 19 plus $500 to spend as you like.

BC Shellfish Festival

Oyster Shucking Championship Registration Form

Rules & Regulations 2011

Open to residents of British Columbia only

Format for 2010

All participants must fill out a registration form from this website and submit it before 12 pm on June 1, 2011. Event organizers will confirm entry with participants by June 8, 2011. Participants must sign in at the entrance tent at Comox Marina Park no later than 3:45 p.m. (time subject to change) Saturday, June 18th, 2011 accompanied by a $10 entrance fee.

Maximum of 20 participants based on a first come first serve basis.


Grand Prize (1st Place): Return airfare, $500 spending cash and a spot in the 2011 World Invitational Oyster Shucking Championship in Charlottetown, PEI from Sept 16 to 19, 2011. By entering in the competition, winners commit themselves to this Grand Prize and must comply with travel dates, participation in the 2011 World Invitational Oyster Shucking Championship in Charlottetown, PEI during the PEI International Shellfish Festival and conduct themselves appropriately as a representative of British Columbia. Flight from Vancouver to Charlottetown. Winner must make their own way to departure city.

  1. • Winner and/or winner’s business will be featured on the Festival website with a link provided (if applicable) for the 2011/2012 year and mentioned at the PEI International Shellfish Festival as a representative of said business
  2. • Picture and recognition in the 2012 Festival program and other marketing materials as deemed appropriate by the festival committee
  3. • Included in media releases and media relations for during of the title for one year

2nd place: $200

The Contest

The contest starts at 5:00 p.m. (time subject to change) on the main stage at Comox Marina Park on Saturday, June 18th, 2011. Competitors need to check in with the contest coordinator in the staging area behind the main stage by 4 p.m.


Each contestant will receive 14 oysters to open and present only 12 for presentation.


In keeping with the feel of the competition, competitors should dress appropriately representing themselves, their business and area in due fashion.


Judges must approve hand wear, shucking knives and any related equipment at the time of sign in. Competitors may wear finger stalls or gloves and may use towels and/or boards to hold oysters in place (the festival will not supply any equipment and must be brought by each competitor). Each competitor may carry up to two shucking knives in case of breakage.


Each contestant will receive a platter of coarse salt at the beginning on which to present the shucked oysters.

Time keeping

Each participant will have a separate timekeeper. There will be one Chief timekeeper.

The participant will poise his/her shucking knife at head height to indicate readiness.

At a signal by the MC, all timekeepers will simultaneously start their watches and all participants will start shucking.

When a participant has completed shucking and has arranged 12 oysters to his/her satisfaction, he/she will either tap the table or raise both hands overhead and step back from the shucking table. The timekeeper will stop his watch immediately. The participant may not touch the tray of oysters after he/she has signaled their completion.

Each timekeeper reports his/her competitor to the Chief timekeeper who records each participant’s time on each official score sheet.


Each competitor’s overall score will be a combination of shucking time, shucked appearance, presence of shell, grit, broken shell cup, meat cut, etc. Judges will add seconds to each competitor’s shucking time according to the following schedule.

1. The following conditions render an oyster un-presentable and subject to the following penalties:

  1. • Un-presented (less than 12 opened oysters on the completed platter) – 30 sec/oyster
  2. • Not presented upright or meat cut out of shell – 10 sec/oyster
  3. • Presented on a flat shell – 10 sec/oyster
  4. • Presented with blood on oyster meat – 30 sec/oyster
  5. • Presented with a broken (in two pieces) under shell – 10 sec/oyster

2. Each oyster presented with shell, grit, mud or other extraneous material incurs a penalty of 2 seconds.

3. Each oyster presented with the meat cut or mangled incurs a penalty of 2 seconds.

  1. 4.Each oyster incompletely severed from the shell incurs a penalty of 3 seconds per oyster.

Total Scoring

The judges, including CBC’s Don Genova and Vancouver Sun columnist and Global TV’s Nathan Fongwill provide the Chief timekeeper with each competitor’s penalty scores and the Chief timekeeper adds this number to the actual shucking time.

The Winner

Total time (shucking time plus penalty time) for each competitor is tallied by the Chief timekeeper and the scores given to the MC to announce.

The winner is the competitor with the lowest total seconds and has not been disqualified.


Disqualification could result from a unanimous decision of the judges and timekeepers that the competitor:

  1. • Did not comply with the rules of the contest
  2. • Distracted a fellow competitor by vocal or physical interference during shucking
  3. • Committed a flagrant and unseemly impropriety during the competition

One Comment

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