In the 2003 Tall Stacks' first riverboat races on the Ohio River on Thursday afternoon, the 118-foot Spirit of Jefferson from Dubuque, Iowa, beat the 80-foot Keystone Belle from Pittsburgh by 11/2 boat lengths.
The turn race started at the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, swept down the Ohio to the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, turned around, then finished at the Taylor Southgate Bridge.
"That's really where a lot of these races are won, at the turn," said Capt. Alan Bernstein, who pilots the Belle of Cincinnati and was giving play-by-play of the race near the WLWT Channel 5 stage near the Serpentine Wall.
In a later race, the 152-foot Colonel of Galveston, Texas - piloted by a nun, Capt. Joy Manthey - beat the 190-foot Celebration Belle of Moline, Ill., by a 1/2 boat length in the race from the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge to the Taylor Southgate Bridge.
"She had a little divine intervention," Bernstein said. "Riverboat racing is all about cheating, lying and stealing. ... But these were some pretty clean races today."
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