Belle of Cincinnati wins Steamboat Race

Great Steamboat Race between Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati for Derby Festival

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Belle of Cincinnati barely edged the Belle of Louisville to win the Great Steamboat Race in Louisville Wednesday night.

This is the second year in a row the Belle of Cincinnati took home the coveted silver antlers.

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Captain Alan Bernstein of the Belle of Cincinnati happily accepted the antlers and thanked both the Derby Festival and the Mayor for letting them participate in the event. “This is one of the greatest cities on earth. It’s always an honor and a pleasure to come down to Louisville every year.”

“The Belle of Louisville is always number one in our hearts,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Sometimes it’s just not meant to be, but we’ll be back next year.”

At the end of the awards ceremony, John Waggoner, of the American Queen Steamboat Company, issued a challenge for the 2018 event to have three boats compete in the river rivalry: “I’m building a new steamboat that will be like a sports car on the river. My boat can beat your boats and mine is still in pieces!”

The American Duchess is the newest steamboat being built for America’s inland waterways. It makes its debut in June of 2017 and is set to participate in the 2018 Great Steamboat Race.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.