LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new competitor is ready to battle it out on the Ohio River in the Great Steamboat Race. 

The American Duchess paddle-wheeler will compete against the Belle of Louisville and returning champ the Belle of Cincinnati.

The Kentucky Derby Festival also announced that it's returning to a traditional race on the river to see which crosses the finish line first. There won't be any crew challenges and points system to determine who wins. 

Festival president and CEO Mike Berry says the annual race is a tradition for Derby Week in Louisville.

"You know its one of the most important festival events that we have, not only is it traditional, its unique. There are no places that you can find that have run a steamboat race every year for 56 years, which we are about to do," Berry said. 

The three boats will run a 14-mile course on the Ohio River, which starts and finishes at the Clark Memorial Bridge. The winner will be presented with the set of 12-point Silver Antlers at the post-race ceremony at the Chow Wagon in Kroger's Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront. 

Representatives from all three vessels, as well as the Kentucky Derby Festival, also participated in a Four Roses Bourbon tasting to determine which single-barrel bourbons would be served during the race.  

Tickets are still available for the race to ride on the Belle of Louisville or the Belle of Cincinnati.  For information, visit www.kdf.org.

The Great Steamboat Race is Wednesday, May 2.

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