Belle of Louisville wins 2021 Great Steamboat Race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Great Steamboat Race is a yearly tradition before the Kentucky Derby and this year’s event did not disappoint.

Three vessels went head to head Wednesday night in the 59th annual race– the famous Belle of Louisville, the American Duchess from south of Memphis and the Belle of Cincinnati. They raced 14 miles on the Ohio River, starting and ending at the Clark Memorial Bridge.

This year, the Belle of Louisville won the race and was awarded the 12-point silver antlers.

“It wouldn’t be Derby Week without seeing steamboats racing on the river,” Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO Matt Gibson said in a release. “We’ve enjoyed being able to bring back some of our favorite Kentucky traditions this year for the community. Congratulations to the Belle of Louisville! We’re always rooting for our hometown favorite.”  

All of the participating boats had a lower capacity this year and followed COVID-19  safety protocols.

Congratulations to the Belle of Louisville crew!