Porridge. Ye cannae beat it - until you have to eat nearly a litre of it in less than 41.75 seconds.

That's the world record, and six people put their bodies on the line trying to beat it during the Speed Porridge Eating Contest at the St Andrew's Day celebration in the Octagon yesterday.

Dunedin Edinburgh Sister City Society chairman Neville Jemmett said it was just too much porridge for some contestants.

"It's messy. It's not pretty to watch."


The eventual winner was Hughan Gould, of Dunedin, who finished his bowl in 1min 07sec.

While he was disappointed he didn't beat the world record, he was pleased to have knocked about 20 seconds off his previous year's attempt.

Asked whether he would be able to stomach porridge again this year, he said: "Oh yes, yes, yes. I love my porridge. I have it twice a week with a bit of rhubarb".

Following his gut-busting effort, he said he still had room for more.

"I still feel I can eat more. I'm going for a [sandwich] now."

The event was part of a diverse programme of traditional and contemporary Scottish entertainment.

An estimated 1500 people - many wearing kilts - participated in traditional Scottish agricultural sporting events such as caber-tossing, sheaf-tossing and carrying Dinnie stones.

Entertainment included bagpipes, drums, fiddlers, singers, dancers, poetry and performance, and there was the customary ale, whisky, haggis, cheese and oatcakes for sale.