“They get to show off their stuff,” that was the response NYC Harbor Committee Chairman, Captain Doswell, gave the New York Times in response to the question “Why the tug captains enjoy the race so much?” He followed the statement up with this statement: “Just as state fairs have tractor pulls, we have the bow-to-bow pushing challenge, 2 boats meet, and at a signal one tries to push the other”
We missed the event but do have some amazing pictures to show you. Many thanks to the NYC tugboat companies that participated.
The FDNY was on hand to kick off the event with an impressive water show, spraying their fire monitors into the East River.
One day a year, the tugboat industry dresses up its hardworking vessels and parades them before judges, showing off fresh paint jobs, displaying horsepower in nose-to-nose pushing competitions and a one-mile sprint up the Hudson. Tug operators play rodeo cowboys, demonstrating their skill by roping a cleat from a moving vessel coming toward a dock.
And those are the earnest categories. Equally coveted are the trophies for best tugboat pet and best dressed crew, best crewmember tattoo (that can be legally displayed) and best mascot.
The event’s lightheartedness in no way means it is not taken seriously. Reinauer compares it to a tractor pull, and anyone who’s ever been through the middle of the country knows how the heartland loves its diesel. He wouldn’t be surprised if a crewmember had gotten a tattoo specifically for the competition. “I don’t know that for a fact, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Some of the tattoos are really ornate and pretty unique.” Keep Reading…
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