SOME competitors nibble at it, rat-like, others shove it full in their mouth, madly chewing.
This year, seasoned contender Brenda Blackmore brought along her own secret liquid lubrication to help gulp down two bull-boars sausages in the quickest time.
Ms Blackmore was plating up for her 15th consecutive World Bull Boar Eating Championships in Glenlyon yesterday.
The well-entrenched event is a heroic tradition, alongside the World Mineral Water Drinking Championships, each New Year’s Day at the town’s recreation reserve.
“I just get in it for a bit of a joke,” Ms Blackmore said.
“I love (the sausages), but not when they’re cold.
“They’re great on the barbecue when you slice them down the middle and grill them.
“Definitely an acquired taste.”
The Swiss-Italian beef and pork sausage is made with secret herbs and spices – just like KFC, The Courier was told – and dates back to Swiss-Italian settlement in Hepburn Springs in the 1850s. Most locals hand down the secret recipe.
Ms Blackmore has gone 15 years without a win, but only really choked once. A friend made her laugh mid-contest.
The mineral water competition also draws on finely honed techniques.
Some say the key is to kneel next to the table, saving vital table-to-mouth nanoseconds.
Contender Marty Crorken, who comes from Craigieburn to compete, says you close your eyes and chug Glenlyon’s finest.
“Hold you breath and hope for the best,” Mr Crorken said.
“It looks like rusty water but apparently if you put a bit of cordial in it, it’s not bad – we can’t do that in competition.
“As it’s going down, you think it’s not too bad. It’s more the after-taste that can get a bit ordinary.”
Mr Crorken said pressure built under the hushed anticipation of the crowd with each drink.
Dribble wastage was up to the judges’ discretion.
Glenlyon Sports Day drew crowds of relaxed picnickers early under shady oak trees to secure the best positions near event rings, including the pony race track and professional wood chopping. Official tables were decorated with a simple vase of summer flowers.