Reblogged via The Newtown Pentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

An upcoming and entirely wholesome opportunity for diversion and entertainment is upon us, as the 20th annual running of the Great North River Tugboat Race will be conducted on the 2nd of September. There are two components to the event which should be considered.

from workingharbor.org

20th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition to draw more than a dozen tugboats and hundreds of spectators to Hudson River Park.

Sunday, September 2, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Hudson River Park Pier 84 at West 44th Street, Manhattan
Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.workingharbor.org or by calling 212-757-1600.

Events include a tugboat parade, a river-churning race, nose-to-nose pushing contests, line-throwing, spinach-eating and tattoo competitions. A Circle Line spectator boat will follow the on-the-water action. Good viewing from shore along the West Side riverfront and at Pier 84.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The Working Harbor Committee (WHC), a nonprofit group for which I serve on the Steering Committee and which I am tasked with certain duties as its official photographer, conducts the race. This year a large number of tugs, more than 15 at this writing, will be participating.

from workingharbor.org

The Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition – one of New York City’s most popular Labor Day weekend events – returns for the 20th year on Sunday, September 2. More than a dozen tugboats, the maritime 18-wheelers that normally dock ships and push barges, are expected to participate.

The race, on a one-nautical-mile Hudson River course that extends from the West 70s to West 44th Street, typically draws thousands of spectators, some watching from shore; others getting right in the middle of the action aboard a Circle Line spectator boat that travels alongside the tugs.

The tugs come because it’s a chance to show off. “New Yorkers sometimes forget they are surrounded by water and that there is a whole maritime industry working here. This tug competition is the one time a year people can really see what we do,” said Craig Rising of McAllister Towing and Transportation, one of the largest and oldest tug companies in the nation. It is also a field day for the crews who pack their boats with family and friends and enjoy a chance to play on the water and win bragging rights over the competition. “It’s a great way for our families to see a slice of our lives,” said Glen Miller, president of Millers Launch, who plans to enter three tugs in the competition this year.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

WHC will, as always, be running a special spectator excursion onboard a comfortable Circle Line ship. Ticketing information is included below. The spectator boat offers uncommon views of the action, and allows enthusiasts and photographers a chance to get close to the fun. Additionally, there will be a free festival of events happening on Pier 84.

from workingharbor.org

When he came up with the idea of a tugboat race in the 1980s, chief judge Jerry Roberts, then a curator at the Intrepid Museum and now executive director of the Connecticut River Museum, didn’t know what to expect. “At that first race I did not know if we were going to get three tugs or six, or any at all,” he recalled. “We got 10, and I knew this was going to work. Twenty years later, the race has become an institution. In an age when New York Harbor has become more and more detached from its maritime roots, this a chance for the men and woman who make their living on the water to show their stuff, and their pride to us landlubbers who live on one of the greatest harbors on earth but don’t even know it.”

Festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. when the spectator boat leaves its dock and the tugs gather off Pier 84 to check in with the race committee and get ready to parade—beauty-pageant style—to the starting line near 79th St. At 10:30, the boats, which typically range in size from 100-foot, 5,000-horsepower monsters to 25-foot, 200-horsepower workboats, get in position behind the starting line. At the sound of a horn, they’re off: engines roaring and smoke belching, as their massive wakes make the river look like an angry ocean.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A family oriented event, the 20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race will have several interesting moments- including a spinach eating contest (all sailors eat their spinach), an unparalleled view of the line toss contests, and an opportunity to interact with the crews of the tugboats which will dock at the pier after the race. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong via Mitch Waxman/Newtown Pentacle for Working Harbor Committee

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