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Since 2011, the Hymans have sent along photos of the race from the starting line. Again this year, I have the pleasure to share them. Here’s an orderly shuffle toward the starting blocks.
Then the boats spin around and await the countdown.
3– 2– 1 Hit the horn and push the throttle!
Happy Labor Day 2015.
Thanks much to William and Marian Hyman for use of these photos.
Click here for the post I did about the 2006 race, the first one I participated in.
Bravo to the organizers and participants of the 2015 NYC race. It starts with a muster…
which looks different as you shift perspective.
It’s great to see race newcomers like Sea Scout Ship 243 out of Rahway NJ, and
By this point, some boats like Robert E. McAllister start to get impatient.
Muster then turns into a procession, filing straight toward the starting line and
showing the colors
as some newcomers catch up.
Next stage . . . it’s the tension on the starting line, feet digging into the starting blocks and muscles tensing, sort of.
and water starts to cascade away from the bows…
froth by the ton.
But when the quick minutes of the race have elapsed, the first boat down the course is the impatient Robert E. McAllister.
And almost as in a triathlon, the dash down the course changes and the pushing starts.
All manner of paired struggle ensues.
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?
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.
Here’s a view of Robert E.’s business end under way.
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?
And they were off. Fells Point, the nearest vessel, is likely the newest boat in the race.
More photos later.
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.”
I didn’t want to call this post “something different 19” because clearly it wouldn’t be different from the previous days. A pattern has emerged, and then I realized that part of the pattern is that these photos depict some of the unidentifiable vessels lost in boneyard or ship graveyards like the one focused upon in the documentary Graves of Arthur Kill. Here they are, in their prime or at least working although forgotten.
All the photos in this post were taken during the Great Depression, by photographers who were funded through the WPA, Works Progress Administration. I am grateful this documentation happened. And my caption are based on the captioning–specific or general–accompanying the photos in the archives.
Below . . . US Gypsum tug. notice the Bayonne Bridge on the horizon near the left edge of the shot.
Photographer Ralph de Sola took this shot of tug Sarah and much smaller one without a name I can find.
I’m intrigued here by the “car float” marked “Brooklyn Jay Street Terminal . . .” shifting rail cars from right to left. Is that a McAllister tug on the far side? And is that how the Staten Island ferry terminal looked in the late 1930s and what is the building on the water left side of photo where the Coast Guard Building is now located?
Here’s an intriguing E. M. Bofinger photo dated June 1938, taken from . . . foot of Wall Street? If Bennett Air Service is at all related to Floyd Bennett and the now unused Floyd Bennett Field, it’s noteworthy that Floyd Bennett himself had died–age 37– in April 1938. Click here for many more Bofinger photos.
Another photographer of water scenes in the archives is James Suydam. Here are piers 13 through 15, the area currently just south of South Street Seaport. Prominent against the sky then was 70 Pine, just to the left of stepped back 120 Wall. The other two are 40 Wall (with antenna) and 20 Exchange, south of 120 Wall.
Here’s a photo attributed to Treistman, said to be taken from the top of Seamen’s Institute and looking over the same piers as shown in the previous photo.
Again, the context here . . . Wednesday night, come see the Graves of Arthur Kill, our documentary screened at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival on tugboats and other vessels of this era and older and what became of them.
And if you’re free the night before, check out this program on salvage sponsored by Working Harbor Committee.
. . . the premier marine motor sports event in the sixth boro . . . the 2013 Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition.
I first attended in 2006, and when I look at fotos for the past seven years, I’m amazed by all the changes I see. I hope you enjoy this album even if I don’t enumerate the vessels that no longer work here or look as they do in these fotos.
What surprises will 2013 bring? Don’t miss it. See you there . . . .
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
By the way, here are some of the competitors from 61 years ago . . . .
The season comes to the east coast in late summer. New York’s 2013 sixth boro race is 12 days away, but you can get tickets to watch it from a boat already by clicking here. Be patient . . . it may load slowly.
This is NOT a foto from NYC. Can you guess where you’d see this original OSV design? OSV here means “offshore (lobster) supplying vessel,” which I confess are my first love in workboat design, dating from back when I lived in New Hampshire. All fotos in this post come thanks to Birk Thomas, a force behind this site and its Facebook version, which generates a lot of pics of workboats from all over.
If you guessed Portland, Maine . . . this is the pre-race lineup for the MS Harborfest.
I’m pretty sure this foto was taken from Andrew McAllister.
And it’s push-off time.
So in New York on September 1, whether you ride the boat or watch from the pier . . . I hope to see you there.
Although the September 1 race in NYC is the 21st annual in the current series, the races date back to before I was born. See fotos of the vessels from the 1952 race here. Back then, an international lifeboat race–rowers came from whatever cargo ships were in port at that time–was part of the festivities.
Again, many thanks to Birk Thomas for these fotos. And if you do Facebook, check out tugboatinformation there.
artifacts are mostly
is it an enterprise of
Read how the Danes and Dutch already do it. These Dutch from Tres Hombres wanted to sail into the sixth boro last year but were stymied by red tape. Then there’s the Vermont working sailcraft project discussed here. Andrew Wilner has more examples in his blog here. Here’s a veritable bibliography of hybrid sail ideas.
Working Harbor Committee presents a panel discussion of this topic tonight from 6 pm — 9 pm in Manhattan. Click here for details.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp. The disintegrating sailboat fotos were taken near Bear Mountain last weekend, and the Black Seal three-masted schooner fotos date from when it delivered 20 tons of cocoa beans to Red Hook in June 2011. Here and here are related blog posts I did back then.
It is a race, and that means there’s a winner, but the race committee decided to have both the first place (left, Lincoln Sea . . . 8000 hp) and second place (right, Meagan Ann . . . 2200 hp)) finishers raise the cup this year because of Meagan Ann‘s lightning speed that allowed her to beat at least four boats of equal or great horsepower. Is her hull coated with slippery paint?
Someone remarked that the Kirby livery makes this originally blue vessel seem larger than previous paint jobs.
This blue vessel built originally for Alaska is
speedy. She left us in the dust . . . er . . . froth!
Final shot of Lincoln Sea (for now) and
us as we appeared from her upper wheelhouse.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except the last one by Dave Boone. Thanks, Dave. You caught me waving . . . green deck forward of the wheelhouse.
Related: last week I got this email from D. J. Lake, who gave me permission to reprint it:
“I am contacting you with regard to the pictures of the first tug boat race in the New York harbor in the early ’50’s that you posted recently. My uncle, Vincent Lake, a long-time employee of the M & J Tracy Towing Line, was a captain on the William J. Tracy on the day of the race. As you probably know, the William J. Tracy was one of four new tugs acquired at that time by Tracy Towing, including her sisters, Kathleen Tracy, Thomas Tracy and Helen Tracy (all named for members of the Tracy family). These tugs were replacements for older units in the fleet. My Uncle Vincent always talked about this race and what an honor it was to be involved in it. I am glad the races have been given a new beginning. The races give the public an opportunity to see tugs in action in the harbor. Thank you. D.J. Lake”
D. J. . . . thanks for sharing that bit of history with us.
For a short video on this coming weekend’s Waterford Tug Roundup, see “now published author” Rick Old Salt’s blog here.
The day started early for me; here at 07:01, not knowing I’d see her later in the morning, I passed Weddell Sea in the notch.
By 07:47, I was in the McAllister yard, thanks to Harold Tartell and of course the McAllisters. Maurania III, also in last year’s race, will be the ride.
By 09:50, we were off Pier 84; W. O. Decker and Meagan Ann were already there.
Aound then, Debora, Susan, and Shawn Miller lined up for a family shot.
At 10:01, it’s Pegasus and . . .lo and behold . . . Weddell Sea has come out of the notch in the Upper Bay anchorage to join in the festivities.
I’ve never even seen this Little Toot. . . out of Highlands, NJ, and she’s not so little.
10:06 . . . Quantico Creek, Buchanan 1, Vulcan III, and Debora Miller begin to line up with us for the parade past Pier 84.
And when Weddell Sea and especially Lincoln Sea mingle with other boats, their size is apparent. … 8000 hp, Lincoln Sea, appeared in K-Sea colors in the 2006 race.
10:43 some of the boats have turned around and waiting for the race to begin . . . the tide is flooding, adverse.
10:45 . . . note the two dark green tugs Gage Paul Thornton and Thornton Bros. still needing to turn around, as does
Freddie K Miller.
If my camera clock is correct, the race started at 10:47, and
tomorrow I’ll get you the results.
It was great meeting/catching up with so many folks today, and again . . . thanks to Harold and McAllister towing for getting me on Maurania III.
soon to be determined . . . less than 48 hours from now. Here’s a schedule from the race organizers.
Will the winner be blue . . . like Atlantic Salvor or
Maybe it’ll be blue and miraculously restored . . . like Crow?
Or will it be red, like this Pegasus or
. . . the not-to-be underestimated Augie?
Or maybe a blue and gold government boat?
Or it might be some shade of white like Susan Miller or Gabby L Miller?
On the other hand, it may be a stealth competitor, like the one these gents have been refurbishing since late spring?
Cosmetic work has been visible on the outside, but
Glen had this grin straight off the cheshire cat when he told me they’d installed huge power down below and
as they’ve worked on the surface, above decks, rendering a beautfully restored New York Central No. 31 house. Who
knows whether Glen was kidding or not about that power plant and about the hull they cleverly built below the dock which be free with a few minor cuts of the Saw-zall.
New York Central No 31 might turn its competitors green with envy once they steam out onto the course. And if she were flying a Canadian flag, she’d be an international entry. And
with all that jabber about competitors red and blue at the beginning of the post, you might have wondered if I was talking about something else. Maybe a spokesperson for red or blue might be interviewing a stealth version of a leading member of the competition?
Check page four of this 1952 issue of Towline for an action foto of one of the winners of the race exactly 60 years ago. And on page 5, you’ll see that the 1952 race was in fact a revival of a pre-WW2 International Lifeboat Race. Click on the image below to watch a two-minute video of the rowing race, some time between 1930 and 1939.