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‘Clamming for a Cure’ kayak relays at Fish Tales, Sunday

If you are in Ocean City this week, you may notice a couple of changes as you drive down Coastal Highway. The speed limit, normally 40 mph through North Ocean City, has been reduced to 30 mph, and Downtown, the speed limit has also been reduced. This is due to the expected, unauthorized H2Oi Pop-Up Rally.  It is reasonable to expect heavier than usual traffic, noise and strict enforcement of vehicle laws during the week and weekend.

(July 25, 2014) Put your kayaking and clamming skills to the test this Sunday during Fish Tales Bar & Grill’s fifth annual “Clamming for a Cure,” a fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Donna Harman, who owns the 22nd Street bayside restaurant with her husband, Shawn, had always wanted to organize a race that included the sandbar filled with clams in the bay behind the restaurant, thus the relay event was created.

Registration is currently open for the 2014 event. Final registration for the races will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 27.

“Locals and visitors alike are invited to come have fun and win some cash and prizes,” said Fish Tales’ Manager Brandon Hemp.

The cost is $100 per team of two, which must be co-ed. Competitors must be 21 years of age and wear closed-toed shoes.

The first heat will kick off around noon in the bay behind Fish Tales. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society and earmarked for breast cancer research.

In a single-person kayak, one team member will paddle from Bahia Marina’s boat ramp (next to Fish Tales) to the sandbar, where he or she must find a live clam, show it to the judge for approval and then paddle back to the boat ramp to tag his or her partner. The second person will also paddle out to the sandbar, retrieve a live clam and then race back.

Some people jump out and find a clam immediately, while others have a hard time locating them, Hemp said.

“Anybody can kayak. If you have a love for the water, you can do it,” Hemp said. “Kayaking is not the problem. Finding the elusive clam is what can hold you up.”

Competitors will race in heats. The top teams from each heat will advance to the next round.

The top three teams will take home cash and prizes. The fourth-place team will win a prize package.

DJ BK will emcee the contest.

Sixteen teams participated last year and approximately $9,200 was raised for breast cancer research.

Drink specials, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction will also be going on throughout the day. Some of the silent auction items up for grabs include boogie boards, skateboard, fishing equipment, golf passes, restaurant gift certificates and Ravens, Eagles and Redskins bar stools. A bar stool signed by Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will also be available for bidding.

There will be a tent set up where attendees can taste George’s Bloody Mary mixes. A surfboard hand-painted by local artist, Maggie Steimer will be raffled off. Tickets cost $5 each. Solace Paddleboards has donated a paddleboard to be raffled off. Tickets cost $20 each. Only 200 tickets will be sold.

Every Sunday, Fish Tales sets up a Bloody Mary bar, and it will be open during the contest. Customers will get their choice of vodka from a bartender, then they can head over to the Bloody Mary bar and add whatever mixes and condiments they like.

For more information about Clamming for a Cure, which is sponsored by VeeV Açaí Spirit Liqueur, Eastern Shore Distributing/Budweiser, Bacardi, Pusser’s Rum, Fin City Brewing Company, Solace Paddleboards and George’s Bloody Mary mixes, call 410-289-0990.

Competitors start their heat during Fish Tales Bar & Grill’s fourth annual “Clamming for a Cure” last year. The 2014 competition will take place Sunday in the bay behind the 22nd Street restaurant.

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