LOUISVILLE, Ky.– The new contender in the Great Steamboat Race– the American Duchess — is now riverboat royalty.
The paddle wheeler built by the American Queen Steamboat Company crossed the finish line first, ahead of the 2nd Place Belle of Cincinnati and the 3rd Place Belle of Louisville. She takes home the coveted silver antlers.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my 40th year on the river,” said Captain Randy Kirschbaum of the American Duchess. “It was great to see the city and show off the new boat. I hope to be back next year to defend the title.”
This year’s event was a traditional race on the river. The 14-mile course on the Ohio River starts and finishes at the Clark Memorial Bridge.
It wouldn’t be the Great Steamboat Race without a few shenanigans. Charges of kidnapping and theft were made, as Belle of Cincinnati Captain Alan Bernstein mysteriously ended up on the American Duchess during the race.
“We’re not sure what happened,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The Belle of Louisville will always number one to us.”