Past Winners

Past winners of the world-renowned championship…

Each year hundreds of competitors from around the world vie for a place in this prestigious competition.

The winners from each country, with enthusiastic supporters in tow, travel to the city of Galway, in the West of Ireland to compete for the world title.

Anyone can eat oysters but they must first be opened, or shucked (oyster shucking as our friends in the US would say), and oyster opening or shucking can be a difficult task. Come and witness it for yourself.

Past World Oyster Opening Champions 

Year  Overall Winner name Country
2023 Frederico Fiorillo
United Kingdom
2022 Anti Lepik Estonia
2021 No competiton due to pandemic
2020 No competiton due to pandemic 
2019 Stephan Nolan Ireland
2018 Anti Lepik Estonia
2017 Anti Lepik Estonia
2016 Johan Maim Sweden
2015 Anti Lepik Estonia
2014 Anti Lepik Estonia
2013 Jesper Knudsen Denmark
2012 Michael Moran Ireland
2011 Xavier Caille Belguim
2010 Johan Malm Sweden
2009 Xavier Caille Belguim
2008 William Young USA
2007 Hasse Johannesson Sweden
2006 Michael Moran Ireland
2005 Øystein Reinsborg Norway
2004 Ola Nillsson Norway
2003 Dieter Bernard Sweden
2002 Patrick McMurray Canada
2001 Fredrik Lindfors
United Kingdom
2000 Per Olosson Sweden
1999 Sam Tamsanguan
United Kingdom
1998 Dieter Bernard Switzerland
1997 Bernard Goniter France
1996 Gerry Grealish Ireland
1995 Vincent Graham Ireland
1994 Bernard Goniter France
1993 Gerry Grealish Ireland
1992 Bernard Goniter France
1991 Gerry Grealish Ireland
1990 Bernard Goniter France
1989 Vincent Graham Ireland
1988 Seamus Lane Ireland
1987 Josie Burke Ireland
1986 Peter Manzi
United Kingdom
1985 Peter Manzi
United Kingdom
1984 Josie Burke Ireland
1983 Bernard Goniter France
1982 Brett Dawson Australia
1981 Brett Dawson Australia
1980 Helmut Prossell Sweden
1979 Helmut Prossell Sweden
1978 Willie Moran Ireland
1977 Willie Moran Ireland
1976 Cornelius Mackall USA
1975 Peter Manzi
United Kingdom
1974 Josie Burke Ireland
1973 Sam Scott
United Kingdom
1972 Sam Scott
United Kingdom
1971 Sam Scott
United Kingdom
1970 Johhny Commins Ireland
1969 Johhny Commins Ireland
1968 Johhny Commins Ireland

What are the rules?


Each competitor will be required to open 30 oysters. He/She will receive a sealed box of oysters on stage and should ensure it contains 30 oysters prior to the start.

The boxes will be allocated to the competitors by lottery and each competitor’s tray will bear a code number- for fairness.

The oysters must be opened on the board provided and presented on the tray provided, nothing else can be used for presentation purposes.

The competitors must present their oysters face upwards.

In opening the oysters, the competitor will only use a knife, a cloth, and any board supplied by the Committee. The competitor cannot use any support, holder, or, any other implement whatsoever. The Oyster Knives must also be approved by the Judges.

Each competitor must indicate that they are finished, by ringing the handbell provided. The competitor must not touch the tray after ringing this bell or disqualification may result.

 Each competitor will be requested to carry their own tray of oysters to the judge’s tent, and they will be responsible for the safety of their tray up to that point.

The Judges will examine the trays of oysters with the following points in mind:- Good appearance, well-opened, without flaws. Totally severed from the shell. Mussel intact – not torn, cut, sliced, wounded, and without blood. Orderly and neat appearance.

The following penalty points may be imposed:-
a) An oyster not severed from its shell – 4 points
b) An oyster with blood – 30 points
c) An oyster with shell or grit on its flesh – 4 points
d) An oyster, the flesh of which is cut or sliced – 4 points
e) An oyster not presented upright – 4 points
f) For each oyster not opened or presented – 30 points

(If an oyster shell is presented empty, or the flesh only is presented, the oyster will be deemed, not to have been presented).

Points are awarded primarily for the speed of opening 30 oysters. Judges award bonus points for the presentation of the tray of opened oysters. A bonus of from 1 to 30 points is awarded by the Judges at their discretion for a tray of oysters that are presented in a neat and orderly manner. The test for the Judges is how attractive the tray would look for a customer in a hotel or restaurant.

The winner will be determined by the lowest combined time, bonus and penalties. In the event of a draw, the competitor with the lower penalty shall be deemed the winner. If they are still equal the competitor with the highest bonus award will be declared the winner. The judges will also award a prize for the best presentation based on the highest bonus awarded.