LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - American Duchess is now the official winner of the Great Steamboat Race.
The American Duchess crossed the finish line around 8 Wednesday evening, followed by the Belle of Louisville and the Belle of Cincinnati.
The Derby Festival made some significant changes to the format of the Great Steamboat Race in 2009, including the addition of the Belle of Cincinnati as the opponent for the hometown vessel, the Belle of Louisville. The Belle of Cincinnati replaced longtime rival, the Delta Queen, in this racing tradition on the Ohio River.
Instead of the winner being determined by the first boat to cross the finish line at the Clark Memorial Bridge, the winner is the vessel that accumulates the most points from performing a series of five tasks assigned to each competitor throughout the day and during the race. One of the tasks is a Calliope Contest between the two Belles; other tasks are performed by the boat crews on-board, as well as onshore. Each boat is assigned two judges, in addition to an overall event judge from the Derby Festival.
American Duchess will be awarded a set of silver-plated antlers.