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It’s hard to believe, but I’ve not been to the Great North River Tugboat Race since 2014, but in normal times, September 5 would see the next race.  But we’ve dispensed with the “normal times” concept for the time being.

In selecting the batch for this post, I wanted splash, froth, bubbles, and the effervescence the river can react with when tons of steel and thousands of horsepower push through the ever changing water.   The next two photos are from that 2014 race. 

It was overcast during the race, but an hour or so later, when pushing contests were happening and

the wakes flattened out and we sized up USAV MGen. Anthony Wayne, patches of blue appeared.  I should leave you in suspense about how this push went.  Let me put it this way;  they left town not long after the push-off.

2013 was an equally overcast day, and again, not to identify every tugboat in that lineup, it appears that W. O. Decker has either jumped the gun or activated its jet drive and will soon rise up out of the Hudson on her hydrofoil assists. I’d guess the latter.

See what I told you . . . Decker has gone so far ahead that it’s already over the horizon.

Second lap maybe for Decker?

It’s starting to appear that in 2012, as in ’13 and ’14, it was overcast.

It was great to see Buchanan 12, usually burdened with a half dozen stone barges, disencumbered and frothing up the river.  That’s the 1907 Pegasus back there too.

In 2011, I was able to get a photo of the racing craft along with sky spray by one of the fireboats present, likely 343.  What’s remarkable comparing the photo above with the one below is the color of the water;  hurricane Irene had dropped a lot of rain upstate and all the tributaries sent that into the Hudson with tribute in the form of silt.

Quantico Creek and Maurania III did an excellent job of stirring up the water.

But again, it was overcast and hazy over silty water.

However, in 2010, we had blue skies that really accentuated the DonJon boats like Cheyenne and

the harbor colossus, Atlantic Salvor.

In 2009, there were wispy clouds, allowing the “queen of the day” to be Ellen McAllister. But look who else showed up!!!!

Urger.   Urger would EASILY have won the race, but she was doing what she does best . . .  urging all the other boats and crews to be fleeter than she, holding herself back, allowed herself to be that day.

All photos and commentary, WVD. See you at the races in 2022.

 

 

Let’s do 2013 and 2014, or redo them, same conditions as I stated yesterday. But first let’s look at the 2013 crowd, packing in like you wouldn’t with covid.  Here was the crowd at 1010 and

by 1035 they had grown significantly.

The compulsory muster takes place, irrigated by fireboat John J. Harvey.

Once the race begins, a front-runner like Decker

might soon get left in the wake.

The fire boat slices up from behind and

propels itself between two Miller boats.

Pushoffs happen next, sometimes quite equally matched like here, with 3900 hp countering 4200.

Let’s jump ahead to 2014, with the arrivals on the watery carpet,

the processing to the starting line,

and get straight to racing without all the preening and posturing.

Someone seems a bit oversize in that gray livery.

This is a fairly mis-matched pair:  Wayne at 5100 hp, and Ellen at 4000.  Maybe a re-match is in order Wayne v. Ava.

Thanks to Jeff Anzevino for this shot, the Media Boat has military background in common with Wayne.

After Wayne has strutted its stuff in the push-offs, some of the boats lined up for the roping the bollard.

Let’s hold it up here.  All photos, WVD.

 

Not New York . . . that’s for sure.  But do the colors look at all familiar?

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That name should tell you why I posted these photos, taken in Skagway, Alaska, and sent along by Bob Heselberg.  Click here for more info on Lily Oldendorff, sister of Alice, who most recently appeared here on this blog.

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And finally, the day before the race, I got this photo from MY former Pioneer crewmate Darell Terrance Gilbert.  Now crewing on a people mover on the sixth boro, he sees a lot of things not many folks see.  for example, back on a cold evening in January, he sent along this pic that we’ve never quite figured out.

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Bob and Darell, thanks much for sending along these pics.

True, the Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition does involve a race, and trophies are given for the best finishes, but my favorite part is just the pushing around.

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Photos of the RIB pushing LT803 by Jeff Anzevino. All photos by Will Van Dorp.

But first . . . it’s a race, and there are trophies for such categories as best-looking, best mascot, best tattooed crew person . . .  .  And there is pushing and jostling, for which there are no trophies.  But what would you call this?

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Step back a hundred and some feet . . . and clearly it’s USAV MGen Anthony Wayne LT-803, 5100 hp, and delivered from what is now  VT Halter Marine in June 1993.  Off her port side is Eric R. Thornton.

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From l to r, lining up are Meagan Ann, Houma, Bering Sea, a little of Robert E. McAllister, Buchanan 1, Mister T, and Emily Ann.  

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Here’s a view of Robert E.’s business end under way.

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Mako III seemed to carry a different name last year.   It began life as an Army ST, although I don’t know what number she carried.  66, perhaps?

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And they were off.  Fells Point, the nearest vessel, is likely the newest boat in the race.

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More photos later.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to NYMedia Boat and Bjoern Kils for getting the best positions for photography during the sixth boro’s premiere Labor Day event, the 22nd annual Great North River Race organized by the Working Harbor Committee, who also deserve a big round of applause.

Two questions you might have are . .  why does the Army have boats, and who was MGen Anthony Wayne?  Here are links A and B to answer the first part–please add detail if you know it–and here’s the info on General Wayne, sometimes called “mad General Wayne.”

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