Johnsonville Brats -- Now That's a lot of Brats
History was made in Wisconsin at the Johnsonville Brat eating contest when Sonya Thomas downed 35 of the favorites, obliterating the previous record of 19 brats set last year.
While it was no surprise that the previous record would be nearly doubled, some were shocked to see how close Joey Chestnut of San Jose was to Sonya Thomas. Chestnut led the contest twice and followed close in the final minute, losing out to Thomas by only one half a brat and finishing with a remarkable 34 and 1/2.
IFOCE host George Shea said the contest was the most emotional thing he'd experienced since the birth of his children.
Richard LeFevre impressed with 30 while Tim Janus notched up 22 1/2. Bob Shoudt consumed 20 2/3 and Frank Wach ate 19 1/2. Carlene LeFevre and 19-year-old newcomer Patrick Bertoletti at 18 1/2 to tie for seventh place.
A total of six eaters broke or tied the 2004 record with the rest of the eaters finishing just behind. While the IFOCE's top eaters were not all in attendance (Booker, Jarvis and others were unable to make the trip), the numbers obliterated previous efforts.
The contest was held on August 6 as part of the annual Johnsonville Brat Days at Kiwanis Park in Sheboygan, WI, hosted by the Sheboygan Jaycees and Johnsonville Sausage. The world championship featured a total of $11,000 in prize money (with $4,000 going to first place). There was also an amateur competition which showcased Wisconsin's best brat eaters.