Monday, October 20, 2003

Belle of Louisville wears the antlers



By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ABOARD THE DELTA QUEEN - "Loo-ser! Loo-ser!"

Henrietta "Hank" Lang, 85, stood with two friends at the bow of Cincinnati's Delta Queen Sunday afternoon.

Lang of Westwood was sure the 76-year-old Delta Queen would beat the 89-year-old Belle of Louisville in the race for the Golden Antlers, given to the swiftest boat on the river.

But the captain of the 285-foot authentic sternwheeler Delta Queen was not so sure.

"It's a pretty even match, so you never know who's going to win the antlers from one year to the next," said Capt. Mike Williams.

At 2:30 p.m. the two steamers took off, heading downstream toward downtown Cincinnati. At Eden Park, the Belle of Louisville pulled ahead.

At the Montgomery Inn Boathouse, the Belle was a full boat length ahead. At the Purple People Bridge, passengers aboard the Delta Queen threw in the towel.

"They cheated," said Karen "Toots" Maloy, who has worked on the Delta Queen for more than 27 years. "I don't know how they cheated. But there's no doubt in my mind."




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