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29TH Annual International Tugboat Race on the Detroit River June 25, 2005
*Pictures courtesy Boatnerd.com

With the roar of diesel engines and lots of black smoke, the 29th Annual Detroit-Windsor Tugboat race began on Saturday afternoon. Tugboat races started back in 1949 and for many years they were discontinued. In 1976 the International Freedom Festival started the tradition once again. In 2003 the International Freedom Festival declared bankruptcy and the future of the race was in limbo. Local Detroit tug man Brian Williams, with help of numerous companies, individuals and the Detroit and Windsor Port Authorities was able to organize the event keeping the tradition alive.

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J.W. Westcott ready for the race.

WDIV Channel 4 Camera man

Tourboat Friendship

Special tug race cruise

Joseph J. Hogan

Katmai Bay passing through.

Julie Ann

Patricia Hoey

Marvin O with the Grey Fox and J.A.W. Iglehart in the background

Marvin O


Jenny Lynn

Patricia Hoey


Iglehart upbound

Joan V



Danny Boy

Tugs gather for the start



Flags flying on the Sannon. Note the Ford "Blue Bird" house flag Former Ford Captain Don Erikison was onboard the tug.

Onboard the J.W. Westcott II Capt. Sam Buchanan prepares for the race.



Channel 4 covers the race from the Shannon

Penny pushing the Acushnet

Line up.

Isabelle and Bionic



Along side the Shannon


Race starts

Penny quickly falling back


Grey Fox was not officially running in the race, as a former Navy Vessel there is no class for her speed.

Junior C II

Julie Ann

Series showing her trade mark rolling run

Joseph J. Hogan

K-Sea (Diamond Queen) on her regular tour.

Bristol Bay is the finish line and platform for the awards

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Pictures from the 2004 Tug Race


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