Capt. Jerry Roberts
(L) presides over the tattoo competition during the 2003 tug races. Tattoo must be on a part of the anatomy "that can be shown in public." (Don Sutherland
Capt. Jerry Roberts, master architect of the Intrepid Tug Challenge of the past thirteen years, has announced plans to bring the Labor Day event to the National Lighthouse Museium at St. George, Staten Island, where he recently signed-on as executive director. "We'd have preferred announcing this earlier," said Capt. Roberts, "but only once it was absolutely, completely a closed issue at the Intrepid did we feel at liberty to proceed."
At presstime, Capt. Roberts expressed hope the event could be held at the Lighthouse Museum's pier on the traditional Labor Day date. "There's an enormous amount to be done, and only a short time. We'd have to ask supporting tug companies how they'd feel if the event were held off until a week or two later. I think the main thing is to have an event this year. Best of all on Labor Day, but regardless, this year."
The City's Economic Development Corporation, the Lighthouse Museum's landlord, has forwarded a list of issues it would want to address, "mostly procedural things that the EDC needs to know, such as insurance or damage issues regarding the pier." Capt. Roberts described an offer of assistance from Staten Island Borough
Hall to help expedite approvals.
CR Towing of Staten Island has spearheaded industry participation in the relocated event. Within two days of Capt. Roberts' announcement support had been voiced from as far as Portland, ME, and Waterford N.Y., where the New York State DOT has committed its tug Urger to a New York appearance. K-Sea's Capt. Rick Falcinelli expected his company would send its usual behemoths to "kick butt,." and would also probably help underwrite the barbecue as before.
"The Pier 63 people were beautiful," said Capt. Roberts, "offering their facility if we need it. It's not out of the question, but I'm mindful of the vessels like the Frying Pan and the Harvey that tie-up there."
The New York tug races could be a socko debut for the Lighthouse Museum's facilities. Capt. Roberts needs to assemble much of the support formerly provided by the Intrepid museum, such as security, deck personnel, and so forth, and invites everyone with the skills, the time and inclination to sign-on.. Things should be happening fast when you read this, so Capt. Roberts suggests consulting the Museum website for the latest updates: www.lighthousemuseum.org.
-- Don Sutherland