The jousting has begun for the 2017 Great Steamboat Race set for Wednesday, May 3, on the Ohio River. At a press conference last week, the tasks and scoring system that will determine the winner of the race was announced. Representatives of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Belle of Louisville and the Belle of Cincinnati also participated in a Four Roses Bourbon tasting to determine which single-barrel bourbons would be served aboard each vessel during the race.
The Four Roses barrel coded HW 48-4J was selected as the bourbon to represent the Belle of Louisville and the Four Roses barrel coded HW 48-4K was selected to represent the Belle of Cincinnati.
Passengers on board both boats will again have the opportunity to sample the two bourbons and vote for their favorite. The boat with the winning bourbon will receive a mini bourbon barrel trophy and bragging rights for a year. Great Steamboat Race private selection bottles will be available exclusively for sale at your local Louisville Kroger Wine and Spirits Shop in late April.
“We’re happy to once again be a part of Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race. It’s an event steeped in rich history, much like Four Roses,” said Brent Elliott, Four Roses Bourbon master distiller. “The Bourbons selected to be served during the race are from our OBSV recipe, which is our high rye mashbill. I’m looking forward to Steamboat Race guests tasting both and deciding their favorite in May.”
The task and scoring system that was implemented eight years ago to determine the winner of the Great Steamboat Race will return again this year. Instead of the event winner being determined by the first boat to cross the finish line at the Clark Memorial Bridge, the winner will be the vessel which accumulates the most points from performing a series of nine tasks assigned to each competitor throughout the day and during the race. The task competition starts at 2 p.m. race day at the 4th Street Wharf.
The total potential points earned are 164. The vessel with the most points as determined by the judges will be declared the winner. Failure to perform a task will result in a “no score,” plus a 35-point penalty. The majority decision of the judges will be final. The winner will be presented with a set of 12-point Silver Antlers at the post-race ceremony.
Boarding for the Great Steamboat Race will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., with the boats departing the shore at 5:45 for a 6 p.m. start. Each boat will be assigned two judges, in addition to an overall event judge from the Derby Festival. The Awards Ceremony will take place immediately following the race at the Chow Wagon in Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront.
Limited Belle of Cincinnati tickets are still available: $60 Cruise Only; $95 Dinner, Four Roses Bourbon Tasting, and Cruise. For Belle of Cincinnati tickets call 800-261-8586 or visit BBRiverboats.com.
Sponsor: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 369. Contributing Sponsor: Four Roses Bourbon. Supporting Sponsor: IDD Therapeutic Services, PLLC. Media Sponsor: Q103.1