National Concrete Canoe Competition"
University of California - Berkeley "Champion of Champions"
The University of California - Berkeley emerged victorious over 21 other teams at the 2009 National Concrete Canoe Competition... besting a field that included 4 previous U.S. and 2 Canadian National Champions. The Bears now hold a record five national wins along with Team UAH and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Neither rain, nor more rain, nor even more rain could dampen the spirits of these competitors. Despite the clouds, thunder and occasional lightning, the event held at Tuscaloosa’s Lake Nicol looked like an ordinary canoe race. The canoes these competitors were racing were far from ordinary though; in fact, the competitors themselves were anything but typical (see photo below... jag). They were civil engineering students from across the United States and Canada, and the canoes they were racing were made of concrete. See:
"They Are the Champions, Concrete Canoe Champions, That Is," by Joan Buhrman and Anthony Reed of ASCE, June 13, 2009.
2009 NCCC Coverage
The 2009 NCCC marked the 22nd anniversary of the national concrete canoe competition. The first place overall winner in each of 18 Conferences was invited to compete in the 2009 National Concrete Canoe Competition. In addition, if the first place Conference winner finished in the top five overall in the 2008 National Competition (University of Nevada, Reno, University of California - Berkeley, Ecole de Technologie Superieur, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, and the University of Florida)... the second place team was also invited to compete at nationals. The host school (University of Alabama) opted to compete in 2010 and four second-place qualifiers were established, rounding the field out at 22 (see below).
The two newcomers in 2009 brought the number of schools that have participated at the national level to 110. Point totals, spreadsheets, and statistics for the 2009 NCCC and all other national competitions can be found in "For the Record."
John Gilbert and Andrea Barnes covered the event for ConcreteCanoe.org. Details on each team's performance including a description of their presentation, every question asked by the judges, commentary on their stint, photos of their final product, and more can be found via the links listed below. Other competition photos are available courtesy of ASCE. The University of Nevada-Reno posted a spreadsheet and the University of Wisconsin-Madison archived the top design reports.
Design reports (25% of score) and compliance certificates were due on May 13th. These were evaluated prior to the competition. UC-Berkeley won this category.
The final products (25% of score) were judged on The Quad, located on the UA campus, on Thursday, June 11th. We photographed the canoes with as little clutter (participants, spectators, etc.) as possible to show exactly what each school had to offer. Cal Poly-SLO won this category.
Oral presentations (25% of score) were delivered in the Morgan Auditorium located on the UA campus on Friday, June 12th. We attended all of them and documented every question posed to the teams by the judges. UC-Berkeley won this category.
Races (25% of score) were held June 13th on Lake Nichol. We were there and provided blow by blow coverage. Nevada-Reno won this category.
According to ASCE: "With equal parts technical skill, creativity and determination, the University of California, Berkeley captured the ‘America’s Cup of Civil Engineering’ at the end of three days of fierce competition and more than a year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears for the team."
2nd - ETS
4th - University of Florida
University of California - Berkeley (1st place overall; 1st in paper;
1st presentation; 3rd
Anthony P. Crest Award for Innovation - ETS for developing a flexural
testing apparatus for vertical plate testing.
2009 NCCC Website Links
2009 NCCC Race Site - Lake Nichol
2010 National Concrete Canoe Competition
The 2010 National Concrete Canoe Competition will be hosted by Cal Poly and held June 17-19, 2010 in San Luis Obispo, California.