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Dragon boat racers to compete May 17 in the Florida Keys at Sombrero Beach

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While organizers of the Saturday, May 17, Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival can't promise the Kardashians will compete -- as they did in the 10th annual South Florida Dragon Festival in Miami, they can guarantee a fiery good time.

The waters off Sombrero Beach are transforming into a swift racecourse for a day of dragon boat racing, one of the world's fastest-growing water sports. Twenty paddlers move in unison exhibiting strength and teamwork. A VIP aboard the boat is the drummer who keeps the paddlers timing in synch for maximum speed.

Forming a team is easy. Organizers provide with everything from the paddles and life vests to the training. Grab 20 people from your office or church or your friends and family and register at

Sombrero Beach provides a pristine setting for the beach launches. Sleek 40-foot-long race boats featuring elaborate designs which originated in ancient China are centerstage. At least 13 teams are registered and proceed benefit a housing complex in Marathon. The Heron-Peacock Supported Living Center provides housing and supportive services for the chronically mentally ill.

The festival, in its sixth year, is free and open to the public. Food, beverages, merchandise and a variety of entertainment are to be available shoreside. For more information, call 305-743-5624.