Oxford Man Wins World Doughnut Eating Championship
OXFORD - Last year, during the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest, famed competitive eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut ran away with yet another title for himself. But there was one competitor who was taken notice of by many locals: Geoffrey Esper from Oxford, MA, who ate forty-one hot dogs and earned himself fourth place. It wasn't a perfect finish for Esper, but it definitely put him on the radar of any Massachusetts fans of competitive eating as one to watch going forward.
Anyone fans who were canny enough to keep an eye on Esper would have been rewarded at the doughnut eating championship that took place last Friday, pitting Esper against Chestnut once again. This was only the second-ever Donettes Eating Championship, and the inaugural winners was of course Chestnut, who set the mark to beat by eating 257 Hostess Donettes during the competition. (And if you've ever tried to eat more than, like, three of these doughnuts, you know that 257 is a near impossible feat. But that speaks to the skill of Chestnut.)
This year, the championship was held at the Barton Creek Square Mall in Austin, Texas, and Chestnut looked to defend his title. As the foremost competitive eater in the world, he seemed primed to do so, but it was Esper came out of nowhere and pulled off a major upset. Esper, ranked third in the world, ate 235 doughnuts in just six minutes. Chestnut was only able to eat an even 200 in his second place finish.
While Boston and the surrounding area is proud to think of itself as "Title Town", this is perhaps an unusual title to bring home, though still a proud moment for the state. As for Esper, it puts him on the radar as someone who might usurp Chestnut's top place at the Super Bowl of competitive eating: the annual hot dog eating contest. And that, unfortunately, is a title we'll have to wait until next July 4 to see potentially come home.