Louisville Ky’s famous boat race under a new set of rules this year

Photo from WDRB.comPhoto from WDRB.com

March 29, 2016. Louisville, KY.   – The jousting has begun for the 2016 Great Steamboat Race set for Wednesday, May 4, 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 unanimous votes all around, the Four Roses barrel coded NS 80-6F was selected as the bourbon to represent the Belle of Louisville and the Four Roses barrel coded NS 80-1A was selected to represent the Belle of Cincinnati.

kdf derby festival logo

“Everyone has a different palate and taste preference, so it was really exciting to see the judges unanimously select one barrel for each boat,” said Brent Elliott, Four Roses Bourbon master distiller. “Both bourbons are from our OBSV recipe, which is our high rye mashbill. I’m looking forward to having the Steamboat Race guests taste both and pick which one they enjoy most.”

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.  Four Roses Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race private selection bottles will be available exclusively for sale at your local Louisville Kroger Wine and Spirits Shop in late April.

 The task and scoring system that was implemented seven 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.

Photo from WDRB.com

Photo from WDRB.com

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.

 Tickets on the Belle of Louisville $130 (limited availability).  For Belle of Louisville tickets call (502) 584-FEST or visit KDF.org. Tickets on the Belle of Cincinnati $60 Cruise Only; $85 Dinner, Four Roses Bourbon Tasting, and Cruise. For Belle of Cincinnati tickets call 800-261-8586 or visit BBRiverboats.com.

 Four Roses Bourbon is Contributing Sponsor of this year’s Great Steamboat Race, joining Media Sponsor 106.9 Play.

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