Time to show us your mussels again

Not tired: The winner of the 2013 Havelock Mussel Festival ‘‘Show Us Your Mussels’’ contest,  Andrew Burrow, left, and friend Brady Norton use the tyres at work to train for the event.
Not tired: The winner of the 2013 Havelock Mussel Festival ‘‘Show Us Your Mussels’’ contest, Andrew Burrow, left, and friend Brady Norton use the tyres at work to train for the event.

Andrew Burrow is looking forward to defending his title at the Havelock Mussel Festival tomorrow.

Last year he held two 7kg mussel float halves above his shoulders for almost five minutes to win the More FM "Show Us Your Mussels" contest.

"I'm looking forward to the competition, my job at Independent Tyre Specialists as a tyre technician gives me a good workout," he said. "I've talked a friend from work into taking part as well."

Will Palmer competing in the Show us your Mussels competition in 2013
Will Palmer competing in the Show us your Mussels competition in 2013

More FM host Natasha Knox said they had changed the contest this year. Instead of holding mussel floats, contestants will wield a mallet. "We wanted to try something different so got a high striker game like you see in the movies instead of letting contestants hold up mussel floats."

Contestants will still need to use their "mussels" to swing and hit a striker hard enough for it to travel up and hit the bell.

The contest is one of several held on the day. The Kono NZ Mussel opening competition and Guinness Book of Records world record attempt are always big attractions at the festival.

For all event information, live feds and reminders scan the QR code to get the Showgizmo phone app sponsored by The Marlborough Express
For all event information, live feds and reminders scan the QR code to get the Showgizmo phone app sponsored by The Marlborough Express

Competitors race to see who can open 100 mussels in the fastest time and win a chance to try to beat the world record.

Kono NZ team organiser Lynette Valk said the company was entering two teams in the contest. "Nerves are (the contestants') worst enemy and they are starting to build as the day approaches. Timing is everything in the competition and a slippery mussel getting away from you could be the end of it."

Rey Bernal was the best on the day last year, taking two minutes and 41 seconds to open 100 mussels. But he did not threaten the existing world record of two minutes and 11 seconds held by Kannha Keo since 2007.

Another popular contest is The Mussel Munch in which contestants race to eat a pottle of mussels and scull a beverage in the shortest time.

The MetService is forecasting a cloudy day and a high of 21 degrees with a chance of rain later in the day. Marlborough 4 Fun events organiser Lauren Haward said they were not overly concerned with the weather. "In an extreme case the call will have to be made on the day and will then be announced online, via the ShowGizmo App and MoreFM radio," she said.

The Havelock Mussel Festival is at the Havelock Domain from 10am tomorrow.

Tickets are available from Floor Pride Marlborough Civic Theatre today and cost: adult $28, child 5-14 years $12, family pass $58.

Gate tickets: adult $32.50, child 5-14 years $13.50, family pass $68.

The Marlborough Express