Lisburn to hold salmon throwing contest

Published Thursday, 19 June 2014
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A week celebrating the finest in Lisburn dining will culminate in the unique spectacle of competitive salmon throwing on Saturday.

The competition is the brainchild of restaurateur Derek Patterson, who is an ambassador of Lisburn Restaurant Week.

He gave UTV an idea of the contest ahead of Saturday's main event during a practice session at the venue The Plough Inn.

"This is an idea that I've had for a long time, to have a salmon throwing competition in Hillsborough at the tail end of Lisburn Restaurant Week," he explained.

"I want to put the message out about how close we are to our coastal waters, we don't eat enough seafood and we don't realise how accessible it is.

"Eighty-five per cent is exported out of the country, so I came up with the idea of connecting the fishing industry with inland by asking the fishermen to support this.

It’s fun, it’s bizarre, unique and different, we’re going to throw salmon as far as we can possibly get it and the best man wins.

Derek Patterson, salmon throwing brainchild

Salmon throwing involves wearing waders filled with water (and preferably, the full fisherman getup with an angling hat and gilet) and running while clutching a salmon weighing around 20lb towards a throwing mark, from which competitors throw the fish as far as possible.

The fish being thrown are dead and are sourced from wholesale fish suppliers.

Any throwing technique may be employed, as Derek explained.

"You have to capture the salmon just under front gills, just at the back of the head and then you can use whatever technique you like.

"You basically try to lob it, some people use the shot-put technique with a spin of the feet, some people just grab it under and get it over the top of their head."

The record at the moment is 16m and a special prize will be given to the person who chucks the fish the farthest this weekend.

"This is going to be huge, I think it's going to be an annual event as the interest has been phenomenal," Derek concluded.

"We will be there to give advice to everyone who comes along so don't be nervous on Saturday if you turn up at the Plough for the entry of the competition, we will help you with it!"

© UTV News
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51 Comments
Kate in Belfast wrote (111 days ago):
The salmon were actually not fit for human consumption and therefore donated for this competition!!! On top of this they were donated to a cat charity afterwards. I don't think it is as bad as people are making it out to be. On the other hand, however, these details should have been made clearer for the public - I only knew by doing research.
roy coulter in belfast wrote (121 days ago):
How sad such a waste of good food. What was wrong with throwing the whelly. A disgrace!!
Malcolm Wilson in Brightlingsea wrote (121 days ago):
Am horrified at this scene salmon are supposed to protected species could Mr Patterson not have used weighted dummies find this episode in bad taste sincerely hope this will never be an annual event. It was mentioned about how we don't eat enough fish does Mr Patterson not realise how depleted all fish stocks are river and coastal.
John in Hillsborough wrote (121 days ago):
Oh dear Derek this seems to have backfired a little! Not good promotion for your restaurant.
CJM in Hillsborough wrote (122 days ago):
I agree with all of the above and am relieved to find that I wasn't alone in my thinking. Always felt the Oyster Festivals oyster eating competition seemed a sinful example of gorging on food when so many are starving. But that's Hillsborough for you, not deprived and not caring.
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