Aw, shucks! Coop deVille oyster shucking contest

From left, Teddy Karalekas, Shaun Fitzpatrick and Petey Berndt race to be the first to cleanly shuck twelve oysters. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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With the music of the Woody Pines Band wafting from a docked boat in the harbor, oyster lovers gathered at Coop de Ville on Saturday, Sept. 6, to watch the annual competition for fastest oyster shucker. Though reigning champion of 10 years Teddy Karalekas, who arrived for the competition in a bathrobe, made it to the final round, Austin Higgins of Coop de Ville stole this year’s title as the first to cleanly shuck 12 oysters, in only 33 seconds. Coop de Ville owner Petey Berndt and Shaun Fitzpatrick tied for third place. Mr. Berndt said the event raised $2,300 for Angels Helping Animals to cover flight expenses for 29 dogs on death row in St. Thomas, to bring them to the Vineyard for adoption.