Hundreds of all ages came out on Sunday for the 20th Annual Largest Clam Contest, held by the East Hampton Town Trustees at the Trustees’ office. The crowd lined up for a raw bar, chowder, and hot dogs where the trustees and volunteers helping to run event shucked clams rapidly for the attendees eagerly waiting in line for a fresh morsel of mollusk.
Onlookers were wowed by the size of the clams that were on exhibit during the event and ventured guesses at which would win the contest.
There were four divisions according to the waters that the clams were taken from; Accabonac Harbor, Three Mile Harbor, Lake Montauk and Napeague Bay. For each division there was also a junior and adult category. In the end it was Edward F Hoff that took top honors for the largest clam with a 2.26-pound whopper that he took out of the mud in Napeague.
“It’s fun getting in and out of the mud,” said Hoff.
Hoff said that he went out last Sunday for four and half hours to find the big one. He went out with his young son who followed him into the deep water. “He was using his rake to keep his head above the water,” he said.
Hoff said that he plans to return the clam to Napeague Bay.
A 1.79-pound clam out of Napeague entered by Cameron McAwliffethat won the junior category.
Nancy Peppard three-peated this year for the Accabonac Harbor division by winning the adult category with a hefty 1.85 pounder.
Peppard looks forward the contest and the prizes. “You get good stuff,” she said, speaking of the clam rakes, gas station cards and beer that are sometimes part of the prize packages.
In Accabonac Harbor the junior prize was taken by Jessica Branch with a 1.43-pound clam.
In the Three Mile Harbor division, young Ethan won with a last minute entry that he grabbed just before the contest with a 1.54-pound clam. Tim McAwliffe won the adult division with a 1.55-pound clam.
The clams out of Lake Montauk were slight by comparison. Emily Jackson won the junior category with a 7-ounce clam while Jessica James won for the adults with a 8.7-ounce clam.
Kayla Talmage is a trustee and was happy to be able to help put on such an event. She said, "It seemed like a pretty good turnout."
"We get a lot of support from that community," she said and added that it was nice to be able to give something back.
Rona Klopman, an Amagansett resident who is running for East Hampton Town trustee this year, said that it’s “always a nice event.”
She added, "Very hometown."