Two of the world’s leading names in turkey-plucking, both now retired with unbeaten records under their belts, are to meet one more time later this year in a winner-take-all face-off to determine who is the fastest plucker of them all.
Having recently defended his title as fastest plucker in Ireland, Vincent Pilkington (65) from Cootehill, the Guinness World Record holder for plucking a single turkey as well as ‘three-bird’ record, laid down the gauntlet to his UK equivalent, Paul Kelly, through The Anglo-Celt earlier this year. Vincent is renowned in plucking circles as the man who plucked a turkey in 90 seconds on RTE TV in 1980, and later plucked 100 turkeys in seven hours, 32 minutes.
British turkey farm owner Kelly, managing director at Kelly Turkey Farms, meanwhile lays claims to the fastest time for plucking three turkeys in 11 minutes and 30 seconds, set in 2008.
Now the pair have agreed to have a ‘pluck-off’ of their own. Mr Kelly said he would be delighted to go toe-to-toe with a man he respects but also considers a rival.
“We’ll definitely arrange to do something. We’ll have a bit of fun with it. Neither of us are thinking we’ll be able to get near the sort of times we set for our world records, but we’ll give it a go. I’m happy to do it and I look forward to hearing from him, have a bit of banter and stir up the competition a bit,” he said.
Mr Pilkington said he was “delighted”, bringing to the boil a rivalry which has been simmering over the years. Though 10 years his senior, the Cavaman is quietly hopeful.
“He’s that bit younger. We’ve both been out of it for a while but he has the years on me. I want to show that I’m able to pluck a turkey quicker than any man who goes up against me. I’m not getting any younger so now’s the time.”