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Posts Tagged ‘Hudson River

2013 Great North River Tugboat Race

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Maritime Sunday returns with a Tugboat Race.

- photos by Mitch Waxman

For this week’s Maritime Sunday, what I saw last week at the Great North River Tugboat Race.

20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race

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Last Sunday, the race was run on the Hudson River. Your humble narrator was onboard the “officials” boat and the following slideshow is what was captured on the day of. How’s that for a “Maritime Sunday”?

20th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just starting the “develop” process on the shots gathered at today’s Working Harbor Committee event, the running of the 20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition. The winner of the race is pictured above and below. That’s Kirby Marine’s Lincoln Sea.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It will be a couple of days before the entire set of photos is ready, but I figured that it made sense to rush a couple out for today. Happy Labor Day.

20th annual North River Tugboat Race- September 2, 2012

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- 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.com

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

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.com

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.com

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.

from workingharbor.com

Immediately following the race, the tugs challenge each other to bow-to-bow pushing duels—the nautical version of arm wrestling. Then in what is the toughest test of all, captains steer close to the pier while deckhands attempt to lasso a bollard on Pier 84. The task, which makes horse wrangling seem tame, is something working tugboat crews perform daily, but it requires incredible coordination between captain and crew.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

WHC will be sponsoring several interactive activities for all ages, including line toss contests, and there will be food vendors and other diversions. The culmination of the day will include the award of the coveted winners trophy- which will guarantee on the crews bragging rights for the next year, and awards will be granted for best maritime pet, best sailor tattoo, and other achievements.

from workingharbor.com

At about noon, the tugs tie up to Pier 84 while judges tally the races results and choose the best-looking tug, best vintage tug, best-dressed crew, best crew tattoo and best mascot. The public is invited to get into the action on the pier in spinach-eating and line-tossing contests for both kids and adults. The awards ceremony begins at 1 p.m.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The best way to participate is clearly onboard the spectator boat- ticketing and departure details are listed below. I’ll be there, how about you?

from workingharbor.com

Circle Line Manhattan will depart at 9:30 from Circle Line’s Pier 83 at 43rd Street and 12th Avenue (boarding will begin at 9 a.m.), and it will return at 11:30 a.m., so that passengers can walk just one block to the events on Pier 84. Tickets are $30 adults/$25 children. Free for ages 4 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.workingharbor.org or by calling 212-757-1600.

Admission to the Pier 84 events is free.

The race is organized by the Working Harbor Committee, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading the word about the rich history, current vitality and future potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. The organization also provides Hidden Harbor Tours® and runs an extensive youth educational program. Full information is available at www.workingharbor.com. Thanks to co-sponsor Friends of Hudson River Park and major supporters Circle Line and the NYC Economic Development Corp.

Not exactly Project Firebox, but…

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Op Sail 2012 coincided with the annual Fleet Week event this year, and the John J. Harvey fireboat was there to greet everyone to its home port. Storied, the Harvey is no fire alarm box of course, but I just really dig this shot. The odd lighting was caused by a hole in the clouds which magically appeared over the Hudson just as the event was kicking into high gear, which lends a cinematic quality to the image.

Cue “flight of the valkyries”.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 2, 2012 at 12:15 am

Op Sail

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- photos by Mitch Waxman

First shots from Op Sail

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

vast enclosure

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

When you cut things down to the bone, and ask yourself the question “Who was the New Yorker that most profoundly changed the City?” it always comes back to one fellow. Ray Kelly or Mike Bloomberg would vie for the crown in modernity, in the long view of history Alexander Hamilton, DeWitt Clinton, Boss Tweed, or the Roebling clan have major claims on the title. Robert Moses would tell you that it was himself, and arguably, so would Osama Bin Laden.

In the opinion of a humble narrator, the crown belongs to one man- a Swedish immigrant named Othmar Ammann, and today is his birthday.

from wikipedia

Othmar Hermann Ammann (March 26, 1879 – September 22, 1965) was a American structural engineer whose designs include the George Washington Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Brooklyn Bridge has the fame, Williamsburg Bridge the infamy, Manhattan Bridge is overlooked. The bridges of Othmar Ammann, however, are the ones which shaped the modern megalopolis and allowed the expansion and diaspora of New York’s laborers from the tenement neighborhoods of the five boroughs to the suburban satellites of modernity. The vast populations of Long Island and New Jersey and Westchester who commute into the city on a daily basis would have never achieved their current size, were Ammann removed from the story.

As a side note, and just to toot my own horn for a moment, the shot above was published last year in the New York Times- check it out here

Also from wikipedia

Othmar Ammann designed more than half of the eleven bridges that connect New York City to the rest of the United States. His talent and ingenuity helped him create the two longest suspension bridges of his time. Ammann was known for being able to create bridges that were light and inexpensive, yet they were still simple and beautiful. He was able to do this by using the deflection theory. He believed that the weight per foot of the span and the cables would provide enough stiffness so that the bridge would not need any stiffening trusses. This made him popular during the depression era when being able to reduce the cost was crucial. Famous bridges by Ammann include:

  • George Washington Bridge (opened October 24, 1931)
  • Bayonne Bridge (opened November 15, 1931)
  • Triborough Bridge (opened July 11, 1936)
  • Bronx-Whitestone Bridge (opened April 29, 1939)
  • Walt Whitman Bridge (opened May 16, 1957)
  • Throgs Neck Bridge (opened January 11, 1961)
  • Verrazano Narrows Bridge (opened November 21, 1964)

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Othmar Ammann was a bit of an artist, his bridges achieving a rare thing for engineering projects, which is the elevation of a functional structure to the sublime. A prevailing theory in fine art and graphic design which emerged in the 20th century is “less is more”, and Ammann’s spans are manifestations of this concept in steel and cement.

from smithsonian.com

By the early 1960s, when the George Washington’s lower deck was added (as specified in the original plans), Ammann had all but eclipsed his mentor. Ammann’s other 1931 creation, the Bayonne Bridge connecting Staten Island and New Jersey, was until 1977 the world’s largest steel arch bridge — more than 600 feet longer than the previous record holder, Lindenthal’s Hell Gate Bridge.

Months before his death in 1965, Ammann gazed through a telescope from his 32nd-floor Manhattan apartment. In his viewfinder was a brand-new sight some 12 miles away: his Verrazano-Narrows suspension bridge. As if in tribute to the engineering prowess that made Ammann’s George Washington Bridge great, this equally slender, graceful span would not be surpassed in length for another 17 years.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Eclipsed by the vain and power seeking during his sunset years, Ammann is one of the forgotten few who crafted the connections between the individual components of the archipelago islands of New York Harbor. Mighty Triborough or the graceful arch of the Bayonne Bridge speak to his sense of esthetic, and indicate that he was in touch with some higher imperative than merely moving automobiles from one place to another.

from nytimes.com

His works soar above the water, spanning the city’s rivers and connecting New York to the rest of the country. But who has heard of Othmar H. Ammann?

Donald Trump hadn’t, at least not back in 1964 when he was a high school student and his father took him to the dedication ceremony for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. ”It was a sad experience,” Mr. Trump recalled. ”For years, various politicians had fought the bridge. Now that it was built, I watched as these same people all got up and took credit for it, congratulating themselves and introducing one another. The only one not introduced was the man who made the bridge, Othmar Ammann.

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