KEY WEST — A 76-year-old sailing enthusiast from Maryland is the winner in the men's division of the annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest in Key West.
Bill Ochse of Ocean City, Md., impressed the judges Saturday by playing a "drum roll" and march excerpt on his fluted, pink-lined shell. He said he had performed once in a conch orchestra.
Other winners included Taylor Nasser, 13, of Key West, who blew a lengthy blast while hula-hooping.
Conch shells have been used as signaling devices in the Florida Keys for at least 200 years. Native-born islanders are called Conchs, and the Keys are nicknamed the Conch Republic.