A seafood feast, crab races, crab and clam derbies with cash prizes, and the annual Whale of a Sale are all on tap this weekend in Westport.
The Westport Crab Races are on Saturday, under the big tent next to the Tackle Box meeting and event center, 2680 Westhaven Drive.
For the 32nd year, racers young and old will pit their Dungeness crabs against the competition. And yes, you can rent a crab if you don’t have one of your own to enter.
It will cost you $2 to enter the race venue and an additional $3 to participate. There are kid and adult divisions, with top cash prizes of $100. Racers need to register ahead of time, starting at 8 a.m. The races start at noon and wind up at 4 p.m.
The nonprofit commercial fishing group WEfish and the Washington Dungeness Crab Association are hosting the annual crab derby. The marina will be thoroughly stocked with Dungeness crab ahead of time, and each crab is marked with a cash value, ranging from $25 to the $500 grand prize. The derby starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m.
Derby tickets are $5 each, available for purchase only at the derby booth at the Westport Charter Association weigh station between floats 6 and 8 at the marina. There are also crab pots for rent there, $10 for the day with a $30 refundable deposit.
“The purchase of the derby ticket enters you into our prize drawing that’s held every half-hour throughout the day over the loudspeaker,” said WEfish co-president Jody Pope.
Crab will be dropped in the marina throughout the day by local boats, said Pope. There will be announcements over the loudspeaker at the weigh station detailing each boat and the crew. Boats will get as close as they can to the Islander at the north end of the marina and drop off crabs between there and the commercial south end. This gives crabbers on the fishing pier a better shot at them, as the crab tend to migrate toward the south end. Pope said they’re aiming for a boat an hour planting crabs during the derby.
To go along with a minus 1-foot low tide at Twin Harbors Beach on Saturday is a razor clam derby. For $3 you can enter to win a prize for the largest clam by weight. Tickets and the weigh-in will also be at the weigh station.
“You purchase your clam derby ticket at the same location, but you are allowed to purchase after digging to enter the contest,” said Pope. “We will weigh each clam the same way, and the winner will be announced at the end of the derby, 7 p.m. You don’t have to be present to win; we will call.”
The clam derby was added last year. “It just so happened that there was a clam dig the same weekend, so we thought we’d have some fun with it,” said Pope.
The number of donations will determine the number of winners in the clam derby, said Pope. “For sure we will have a women’s and a men’s bracket, with hopes of having boys and girls/kids winners too.”
The popular annual crab feed will be served under the tent next to the Tackle Box.
A full crab dinner runs $25, a half for $20. There will be shrimp Louie for $10, local Brady’s smoked oysters for $8.50, and shrimp cocktails for $5. For the non-seafood eater, a hot dog and a soft drink will run you $5.
And throughout the day, raffle numbers will be called out over the derby booth loudspeaker. Prizes are donated by local businesses.
Whale of a Sale
Tables will be full of fun and unique items to peruse both Saturday and Sunday at the annual Whale of a Sale at McCausland Hall, 2201 Westhaven Drive (next to the Westport Maritime Museum).
“The hall will be packed with collectibles, antiques, tools, books, household goods, furniture, home decor and much more,” said museum executive director John Shaw.
The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Donations of new and gently used items are still being accepted for the sale, including antiques and collectibles, but not clothing, said Shaw. Donors are asked to call to schedule a dropoff time to make sure staffers will be available to unload. Some large items may be picked up at the staff’s discretion. Call the museum at 360-268-0078 to schedule or to ask questions.
The sale also will include baked goods donated by area residents. Wrapped items may be dropped off at the museum Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Per health codes, fresh egg and dairy products cannot be accepted, said Shaw.
Proceeds from the annual sale will benefit the Westport-South Beach Historical Society.
Japanese glass fishing floats continue to show up on area beaches, said Shaw.
“We have about 245 reported finds,” he said, “from singles to folks that found 30-40 in a string. Most of the people showed great beach etiquette and shared.”
More than 400 of the floats, which came from the tsunami cleanup in Japan, were released off the coast in several spots starting in late March, which leaves nearly 200 left to be found. Each was etched with a unique number, which can be reported to the Westport Maritime Museum.
It’s not just a fun beachcombing activity; reporting a numbered float’s beach location can help oceanographers track ocean currents.
“We will be having a drawing this coming Saturday for the last premium 16-inch float,” said Shaw. “The drawing will be from all the reported numbers. This will likely happen at noon during the Whale of a Sale.”
Shell Flair open
For the first time in several weeks, Shell Flair will be open this weekend in anticipation of the crowds coming to town.
Collectible shells, crafts and household items will be available Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Inventory is dwindling, as the property is on the market; but new items are still being discovered upstairs and taken down to the shop for sale. Check it out while you still can.