LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The jousting has begun for the 2014 Great Steamboat Race set for Wednesday, April 30, on the Ohio River. At a press conference, 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 TS71-2G 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 TS71-3U was selected as the bourbon for the Belle of Louisville. Both selected bourbons were aged nine years.
"I was very happy this year that both boats 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, delicate fruity flavor. I'm confident that passengers on both boats will be in for a real treat."
Passengers onboard 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. Commemorative bottles from each vessel will also be available for purchase at Louisville area Kroger Wine and Spirits Shoppes mid-April.
The task and scoring system that was implemented five 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.
Failure to perform a task will result in a "no score," plus a 35-point penalty. The vessel with the most points as determined by the judges will be declared the winner. The majority decision of the judges will be final. The winner will be presented with a set of 12-point Silver Antlers.
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 for the Belle of Louisville (while still available) cost $130, Belle of Cincinnati dinner tickets cost $80 (includes Four Rose Bourbon tasting and dinner) and cruise only tickets are $60 (no food or drink included – concessions available on board). Tickets can be purchased by calling (502) 584-FEST or online at www.kdf.org.