HE’S cracked it.

A strong-stomached foodie has brought a world record all the way from New York to the North-East.

Cheered on by scores of enthusiastic shoppers, fitness instructor Kevin Hayes, 44, smashed the Guinness record for eating three pickled eggs in the fastest time at Saltburn Farmers’ Market, in east Cleveland, at the weekend.

Mr Hayes’ time of 52.60 seconds bit nearly six seconds off the previous world record of 58.16 seconds, set by American Ashrita Furman at the Panorama Cafe, in New York, on July 12, 2010.

Mr Hayes, from Garnet Street, Saltburn, was the tenth and final pickled egg aficionado to step up to the plate, after nine contestants had found the going tough.

Apprentice electrical engineer Jack Wilson, 17, from Brotton, finished closest, four seconds outside the old US record.

The new record holder decided to have a go on the spur of the moment.

Speaking just after rewriting the record books, he said: “I’d heard about this and was at the market anyway, so I thought I’d give it a crack. I love my food and knew I could do it, so it feels absolutely amazing to break the record.”

The world record attempt was the idea of farmers’ market stallholder David Laing, with eggs provided from his 170 free-range woodland chickens and rescued former battery hens at Grewgrass Lodge, in nearby Marske .

Mr Laing said: “We never expected anything like this.

It’s been a cracking day from start to finish, and we’re thrilled to have poached the world record all the way from New York and brought it right here to Saltburn.”

Farmers’ market organiser Lorna Jackson said: “We’ve had some amazing days at Saltburn Farmers’ Market, but this just tops the lot.

“It was a tough record to break, but I knew we could bring it to Saltburn. We’ve had another really busy day, with shoppers cheering everyone taking part. Hats off to each and every one of the ten who had a go, and huge congratulations to Kevin.”

The organisers recorded the event and had an official time-keeper, but must now send the evidence to Guinness World Records before the record is confirmed.