Friday, May 18, 2012

From Westport to Waimea in 3, 2, 1...

This weekend is the 11th Annual Surfrider Foundation's Clean Water Classic, the largest continuously run Pro/Am surf competition in the Pacific Northwest right here in Westport, Washington. The event is a fundraiser for the Pacific Northwest Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation, a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the worlds oceans, waves and beaches. To learn more about the Surfrider foundation or find a chapter in your area please visit

It's also a great party, and all weekend long there is live Hawaiian and Reggae music at the Half Moon Bay Bar & Grill. There are a handful of professional surfers from Hawaii that put on an "Expression Session" which is basically an exhibition style surf session on Saturday, and with them and all their guests and the live music, last year it really felt like being at a part on the North Shore of Oahu.

Also, most people don't know that there is a Kids Surf Camp on Saturday morning, which is completely free and staffed by volunteers. It was started a few years ago by a local kid that thought more local children should be surfing. So any of your little ones that have a curiousity about surfing but no one to take them, this is your big chance! Surfboards and wetsuits are provided, you just need to show up at 9 am to register.

See ya at the beach!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

25th Annual Crab Races, Crab Feed & Derby

It's April in Westport, and that means CRAB RACES!! It brings back memories of my previous life, as a big city dweller, a group of coworkers and I used to go to a place called Brennan's Pub, in Marina del Rey. Every Thursday night Brennan's ran Turtle Races, which was a crazy event where for $1 you could choose a "racing turtle" as your own. Each participant would place their racer down in the center of a circle (on the Brennan's outside patio) and then everyone would yell at their chosen turtle until one of them reached the outside circumference, thus being declared the winner. Prizes were awarded out of a giant trash bag, and were not anything you could discuss in polite company. It was crazy, and the liberal vegan that I was at the time found it really wrong. But the beer was cheap, it was walking distance from my office, so I witnessed a lot more Turtle Races than I care to admit.

The point is that Crab Race weekend is Westport's version of that event. At the Crab Pavilion, a giant tent set up in the Marina district for this event, anyone can register and borrow a racer crab for $3. When your heat is called, racing human places racer crab on a slanted table and the racing human pounds on the table and yells at his crab and the first crab to slide to the bottom of the table is declared the winner! Again, lots of fun for those who are into it, mixed with possible feelings of conflicted guilt if you're an animal lover, with any misgivings removed by the time you take your first bite of the fresh Dungeness Crab from the Crab Feed.

If this sounds at all intriguing to you, head to Westport next weekend! Rain or shine, the Westport Grayland Chamber will present 25th Annual Westport Crab Races and Crab Feed on Saturday, April 21, 2012.

Festivities are centered at the Crab Pavilion, with admission just $2 per person for live music by Catch of the Day, and the main attraction - "World Class Crab Races!" Then dig into the tastiest, freshest local Dungeness Crab dinner you'll ever have, with all the trimmings (just $12 for half or $17 for a whole portion).
Enter the Crab Pavilion for the event - Westport's World Class Crab Races run from 1pm to 5pm - sign up starts at 11am. Select a racer from one of our field of draft picks ($3 registration gets you a crab that's been training since their last molt), or you can bring your own fresh racing crab if you prefer. Racing registation begins at 11am and the heats start at 1pm. Lots of prices donated by local merchants are up for grabs in this annual fun event.

The crab feed will go from 11am to 5pm. The dinner ($12 for half a crab/$17 for a whole crab) includes assorted salads, baked beans, and garlic bread, plus coffee or a soft drink. Hot dogs and other beverages, including beer & wine will also be available for sale.

If you prefer to catch your own, take part in sport crabbing right off the docks or the fisherman's boardwalk any time during the season. On Saturday & Sunday, there will be a Crab Derby presented by the Washington Dungeness Crab Fisherman's Association, with 10 Cash Crab prizes ($1,000 Cash Prize!). You can sign up at the derby booth on the marina. Westport is home to the most delicious Dungeness Crab you'll find anywhere in the world.