Tugboats will tussle at annual Hudson River race

The 16th annual New York City tugboat race takes place on the Sunday before Labor Day when more than a dozen tugs will power down the Hudson River from the Riverside South Pier at W. 72nd St. to Pier 84 on W. 44th St. on the Clinton waterfront.

The event, sponsored by the Working Harbor Committee, the Hudson River Park Trust and the Friends of Hudson River Park and others, will begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 31 when the tugs gather in the waters off W. 44th St. for the parade to the starting line at 72nd St.

“We had 19 tugs in the race last year and we expect to have at least 15 this year,” said John Doswell, a member of the Friends of Hudson River Park and the tugboat race committee.

After the race, tugs will go head-to-head in a pushing contest at Pier 84 and tug crews will vie in a line-toss competition. The festivities will climax at 1 p.m. with an awards ceremony.

The center of the event will be at Pier 84 where visitors will be able to get a close look at the tugs and crews. A good viewing location is Clinton Cove at W. 55th St. in Hudson River Park and at Pier 1 near W. 72nd St. in Riverside South Park.

A spectator boat ($35 for adults and $30 for children) will follow the parade and race, departing Pier 84 at 9:30 a.m. and returning at 11:30 a.m. For tickets, reserve at www.workingharbor.org or phone 212-757-1600.