Who Ate All The Pies

He’s too late to be considered for the BBC Sports Personality of 2009, but let’s raise a cheer to the region’s latest sports champion. Step forward Barry Rigby, who this week won the World Pie Eating Championship in Wigan. Now you may think pie eating isn’t a legitimate sport, but that’s fighting talk in Wigan where they take it very seriously.

Rigby, 36, chomped his way to success by demolishing a meat and potato pie in 43 seconds. This was particularly impressive as (1) it was his first time in the contest and (2) it had to be done without the aid of gravy. However, Barry isn’t a pie novice by any means and by his own admission gets through “between 10 and 20 a week, at least”.

The contest is held at noon-known locally as “pie noon” and the pie must measure 12cm by 3.5cm deep and have 66% meat content. For statisticians out there, the world record is 35.86 seconds. The contest is not without controversy, however. Three years it infuriated traditionalists by scrapping the eat all you can in three minutes rule and replacing it with the time trial.

This year there was uproar when local pies were substituted for nearby but foreign “Adlington” pies. ''We were stunned,'' said one of Wigan's local pie-munching favourites, Andy Driscoll. ''My mate and I have been practising for weeks on small, soft Wigan pies and at the last minute, they've substituted these monsters”. The lack of local pies forced the only female entrant, Julie Walsh, to withdraw her entry on a point of principle. And the ban on gravy (imposed after allegations that last year it was being doped with cough medicine) also proved unpopular.

I have my own quibble with the contest-the exclusion of vegetarian entrants, but it would be churlish not to celebrate such sporting excellence in a field well suited to the pub environs.


NAM said…
While I have to applaud Barry Rigby's momentous feat, I'm more impressed by finding a pie with 66% meat content.
Woolpack Dave said…
Surly cheese and potato would be a fair substitute, providing there is 66% cheese?

Mind you, like Nam, I'm impressed with the idea of a 66% meat pie.
Are the pies hot? If bot I reckon I should enter next year

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