Offshore race fans catch a wave to the Keys
ou could rent a hotel room and watch from there. Or find a viewing spot at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. But right down in Key West Harbor, on water's edge, the salty spray stinging your face that's how you feel the Key West World Championship of powerboat racing. One top racer calls this 6.5-mile course the only one where spectators can get "a real close view" of the roaring Superboats, Super Cats, and Super Vees as they skip along the sea surface at nearly 150 mph before bashing into waves that slow them to about 90. Roughly 100 of these souped-up machines will participate in three races per day during the weeklong festivities that begin today. Races take place at 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday (November 20). There will also be a parade and other events, mostly on Duval Street. A week's pass costs $95; admission is $15 on race days and $5 otherwise. Call 305-296-6166, or visit www.superboat.com. Greg Baker
Off the Hook
It's a pretty simple dialectic: Those who fish want there to be plenty of fish. Conservation helps increase the number of fish. Those who fish should practice conservation. Every April you read about the Miami Billfish Tournament and how it raises money for ecologically minded enterprises. One example of that is Marine Conservation Night, which takes place tonight at 6:00 at the Commons of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School for Marine & Atmospheric Sciences (just past the Seaquarium on Rickenbacker Causeway on your right as you head toward Key Biscayne). Dr. Eric Prince will talk about the latest study of circle hooks versus "J" hooks the Miami Billfish tourney is the first in the nation to go to an all-circle-hook format. A variety of organizations will offer info about preserving life in the ocean. The event is free and open to everyone. Call 305-598-2525, or e-mail email@example.com. Greg Baker
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Sitting on the couch, thumbs furiously pounding a controller, with an occasional whoop and an air punch can hardly be called a sport. But if you're competing for a trip to Hawaii and a $100,000 grand prize, you'd better have those opposable appendages in shape. The fourth annual EA Sports 2005 Madden Challenge offers "rookies" and "professionals" a chance to show off their mad Xbox gridiron skills. Thumb a ride to the Shops at Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami, today at 10:00 a.m. Admission is ten dollars for participants, free for spectators. Call 866-489-7668, or visit www.easports.com to register online. Lyssa Oberkreser