CHELSEA — The tugboats that work together to keep New York Harbor running smoothly will compete against each other this weekend in a race down the Hudson River.
More than a dozen tugboats will battle for the title of swiftest tugger at the 21st Annual Great North River Tugboat Race on Sunday morning.
On their working days, the tugboats haul in fuel barges, construction supplies and shipping boats, but on Sunday, it will be all about speed.
The tugboats will parade north from Pier 84 at West 44th Street to the starting line beginning at 10 a.m. At about 11 a.m., the tugboats will race from the Boat Basin at West 79th Street back down the Hudson River to Pier 84. The fastest boats will make the trip in less than 10 minutes.
The North River race takes its name from the Hudson's colonial-era name and it's the name mariners still use for the lower Hudson River — the Delaware River is considered the South River in sailor parlance.
In addition to the race, the nautical celebration at Pier 84 will also include bow-to-bow pushing contests between the boats, a line-toss competition and a Popeye-inspired spinach-eating contest.
The free event is best seen from either Pier 84 or Pier 1 at West 70th Street. A Circle Line spectator boat will also depart from Pier 83 at West 43rd Street at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for the boat are $25 for adults and $12 for kids.