May 3, 2017. Louisville, KY. – The Belle of Cincinnati barely edged out the Belle of Louisville to be declared winner of tonight’s Great Steamboat Race Presented by IBEW Local 369. A task and scoring system determines the winner of the race. The Belle of Cincinnati scored 144 points to the Belle of Louisville’s 140 points. This is the second year in a row the Belle of Cincinnati has taken home the silver antlers.
Captain Alan Bernstein of the Belle of Cincinnati happily accepted the antlers and thanked both the Derby Festival and the Mayor for letting them participate in the event. “This is one of the greatest cities on earth. It’s always an honor and a pleasure to come down to Louisville every year.”
“The Belle of Louisville is always number one in our hearts,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Sometimes it’s just not meant to be, but we’ll be back next year.”
At the end of the awards ceremony, John Waggoner, of the American Queen Steamboat Company, issued a challenge for the 2018 event to have three boats compete in the river rivalry: “I’m building a new steamboat that will be like a sports car on the river. My boat can beat your boats and mine is still in pieces!”
The American Duchess is the newest steamboat being built for America’s inland waterways. It makes its debut in June of 2017 and is set to participate in the 2018 Great Steamboat Race.
Tonight’s awards ceremony was held on the Music Stage inside the Chow Wagon. Here’s how the Belles scored throughout the day:
- Task No. 1: Knot Tying Contest (Belle of Louisville 5, Belle of Cincinnati 10)
- Task No. 2: Nautical Flag Word Puzzle (Belle of Louisville 5, Belle of Cincinnati 10)
- Task No. 3: Handy line toss (Belle of Louisville 10, Belle of Cincinnati 5)
- Task No. 4: Monkey fist toss (Belle of Louisville 10, Belle of Cincinnati 5)
- Task No. 5: Paddle Wheel Assembly (Belle of Louisville 10, Belle of Cincinnati 5)
- Task No. 6: Calliope contest (Belle of Louisville 10, Belle of Cincinnati 5)
- Task No. 7: Buoy flag retrieval (Belle of Louisville 25, Belle of Cincinnati 25)
- Task No. 8: VIP retrieval at Cox Park (Belle of Louisville 25, Belle of Cincinnati 25)
- Task No. 9: Four Roses Bourbon barrel retrieval (Belle of Louisville 25, Belle of Cincinnati 25)
- Task No. 10: Boat race finish (Belle of Louisville 15, Belle of Cincinnati 29)
Sponsor: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 369. Contributing Sponsor: Four Roses Bourbon. Supporting Sponsor: IDD Therapeutic Services, PLLC. Media Sponsor: Q103.1
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.