Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Belle-Belle river duel

BB boat to take Delta Queen's place

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Alan Bernstein can already picture the Golden Antlers residing on the top deck of the Belle of Cincinnati.

[photo] Alan Bernstein, owner of BB Riverboats, stands next to the Belle of Cincinnati as it sits docked in Covington.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        That's after the local riverboat defeats the Belle of Louisville in the annual Kentucky Derby race in Louisville in May. The Belle of Cincinnati replaces the dry-docked Delta Queen, which recently dropped out of the race between two cities that is a highlight of the Kentucky Derby Festival celebration.

        “It's a bittersweet experience,” Mr. Bernstein said of his boat racing in place of the Delta Queen. “Everyone loves the Queen. But we'll be representing Cincinnati, and that's a real honor.”

        The Delta Queen's owners, American Classic Voyages, filed recently for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and have said the boat will be in dry dock all summer for repairs.

        The Belle of Cincinnati, owned and operated by Mr. Bernstein's BB Riverboats, was invited to replace the Delta Queen in next year's Great Steamboat Race on May 1. The prize is possession of a set of golden antlers for one year.

        The Belle of Louisville, formerly the Avalon when it berthed in Cincinnati, holds an 18-17 edge over the Delta Queen in Derby weekend races.

        “The two boats are very close in size, about 225 feet long,” Mr. Bernstein said. “The big difference is the Belle of Louisville is steam horsepower and we have diesel engine power. It's hard to tell which is more powerful. I don't know exactly what the Belle of Louisville's horsepower is, but I know she can move.”

        The Belle of Louisville draws about two feet less water than the Belle of Cincinnati, making it a bit easier to maneuver and turn. And then there's experience.

        “They have a lot more experience racing on that (14-mile) course and making the turn,” Mr. Bernstein said.

        This is only the third time in 40 years that the Delta Queen will not compete in the annual riverboat race.


CAN leaders: Firing Lynch was right call
City Council warns profiling suit plaintiffs
Luken quiet before election on Lynch future
Tradition living at new residence
Wehrung defense wraps up
Gregory fills the house
Homeless coalition speaks out
Tristate A.M. Report
Road projects get green light
SCPA gets $500K gift from trust
UC gets $6 million to study genetics of diabetes
HOWARD: Some Good News
RADEL: On the line
Crime watch group begins
Fire causes $150,000 in damage
Half-brother accused in escape
Jurors could decide today on death for prison killing
Landfill case will continue
Man faces prison after 24th DUI
Reading to be aglow with festivities
Woman faces DUI, other charges in school bus case
Ohio budget agreement is reached
- Belle-Belle river duel
Kentucky News Briefs
Skate park on move
sodomy counts filed
Zoning change is next step for big Kenton development