Chopper wins — again


James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on
March 15, 2009

It's now probably safe to call it a dynasty. For the third consecutive year, William "Chopper" Young won the annual oyster shucking contest at the International Boston Seafood Show on Monday afternoon at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. It is the third time the contest has been held, and Chopper has won them all.
Young, the current world champion oyster shucker from Wellfleet, Mass., took first prize of USD 500 (EUR 385) with a time of 4 minutes, 31 seconds. Deborah Pratt from Urbanna, Va., came in second place with a time of 6 minutes, 12 seconds, earning USD 300 (EUR 231). In third place was Gordon Weldon of Union Trust Steakhouse in Philadelphia, with a time of 6 minutes, 39 seconds, earning him USD 100 (EUR 77).
Young said he was "psyched" to win again, adding that there were some "pretty heavy hitters" in this year's contest. One of the highlights of the contest was during the contestants' introductions, when Pratt, a former national champion herself, called out Young, saying she was "coming for him."
"I loved it," said Young, beaming from the excitement of winning in front of his 3-month-old son, William Jr.
Contestants were required to shuck 12 oysters in the fastest time possible, with time added to their score for broken shells, uncut abductor muscles and overall appearance.
Other contestants included Patrick McCluskey, Kevin Lyman, Eladio Gavirja, Carlos Ferraro, Nelson Quintero, Anthony Pane and Michael Monaco.
Oysters for the contest were provided by Penn Cove Shellfish of Coupeville, Wash.; K&B Seafood of East Northport, N.Y.; and Hilton's Coast Seafood Co. of Bellevue, Wash. Aprons and towels were provided by G&K Services of Minnetonka, Minn.
Judges were Aiden Coburn of The Fish Market in Palo Alto, Calif.; Jon Rowley of Rowley & Associates in Seattle and Kwik'pak Fisheries of Emmonak, Alaska; and Matt Berkowitz of Boston-based restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods.

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