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Pratt repeats as Virginia Oyster Shucking Champion

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State oyster shucking champion Deborah Pratt and runner up, Jermaine Brokenborough competing at the 2008 Urbanna Oyster Festival.

Deborah Pratt repeated as champion of the Virginia State Oyster Shucking Contest, which was held Saturday at the Urbanna Oyster Festival.

Pratt defeated the men’s professional division winner Jermaine Brokenborough, a Middlesex native who now lives in Chesterfield.

Pratt’s time of 3:23 to shuck two dozen oysters was nearly two minutes faster than Brokenborough, her nephew.

Pratt’s time of 3:51 won the professional women’s division over her sister, Clementine Macon of Urbanna, who had a time of 4:10.

Pratt, who lives in Jamaica in upper Middlesex County, will compete for the national oyster shucking title next October in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. At the nationals held in October 2008, Pratt won the women’s division. She finished second overall to world champion William Young.

Brokenborough won the men’s professional division on Saturday in Urbanna with a time of 4:34. Jack Mazmanian of Topping was second (5:32) and Jack Horton of Urbanna was third (6:29).

The amateur division was won by Palmer Hollister of Moseley with a time of 3:12 to shuck one dozen oysters. John Trant of Norfolk was second (4:42), and Scarlet Hilliard of Newport News was third (4:44).

Presentation of the oysters on the half shell is very important. The above times are the corrected times, which are adjusted for imperfections.

posted 11.13.2008

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