LOUISVILLE, KY - The jousting has begun for the 2015 Great Steamboat Race set for Wednesday, April 29, on the Ohio River. At a press conference this morning, 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 sampling of "individual tasting mats" to select a different single-barrel bourbon to be served aboard each vessel for the event.
With three of three judges' votes, the Four Roses barrel numbered KE 57-5U was selected as the bourbon to be served aboard the Belle of Cincinnati. A separate panel chose the bourbon for the Belle of Louisville. With two of three judges' votes, the barrel numbered KE 57-5O was selected as the bourbon for the Belle of Louisville.
"I was very happy this year that both boats again had the opportunity to choose their own barrel," said Jim Rutledge, Four Roses Master Distiller. "The barrels they were choosing from featured our OBSV recipe – with yeast that generates light fruitiness, light vanilla and caramel. I'm confident that passengers on both boats will be in for a real treat."
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 mint julep trophy and bragging rights for a year.
The task and scoring system that was implemented six 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.
- Task No. 1: Jousting inflatable competition (10 points for 1st, 5 points for 2nd)
- Task No. 2: Obstacle inflatable course (10 and 5 points)
- Task No. 3: Handy line toss (10 and 5 points)
- Task No. 4: Monkey fist toss (10 and 5 points)
- Task No. 5: Paddle Wheel Assembly (10 and 5 points)
- Task No. 6: Calliope contest (10 and 5 points)
- Task No. 7: Buoy flag retrieval (25 points for successful retrieval, 0 points for failure)
- Task No. 8: VIP retrieval (25 points for successful retrieval, 0 points for failure)
- Task No. 9: Bourbon barrel retrieval (25 points for successful retrieval, 0 points for failure)
- Task No. 10: Boat race finish (29 points) 2nd vessel under the bridge will get 15 points added to their score.
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.