The Natchez and the American Queen raced on January 25th, 2003 at New Orleans. The Natchez won the close race.
Str. Natchez vs. American Queen
The Award Ceremony
many thanks for the pictures to Steve Swanson, Steamship Historical Society & Owner The LinersList
The ceremony before hand with executives from Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Delaware North, New Orleans Steamboat Company, the St. Louis Cathedral, The Captains & W. Jeremiah Boone.
Fireboat Gen. Roy S. Kelley escort for the race.
The crowd on the deck of the AQ with the Natchez in the background as the race started.
Natchez in the lead shortly after the start. Passing the Riverwalk mall.
At the turn, AQ pulled a fast one and turned sooner than the Natchez. The AQ’s Z-drives gave her a clear advantage, as she turned much quicker than the Natchez and as you can see from the pic, took a good lead in the race, as the Natchez was far behind after the turn. However, the Natchez quickly made up for lost time and won the race by about two boat lengths.
After the race concluded, Finley Fraser, Pilot of the Natchez, Steve Nicoulin, Master of the Natchez, John Dugger, Captain of the American Queen, posed for a picture.
The Natchez Captain Steve Nicoulin receives his trophy.
Race Coverage by Webcam
The now defunct NOLA webcam and Port of New Orleans webcam did show the race which we documented with screenshots:
images from the NOLA.com webcam: