Badgers build better concrete canoe

Engineering students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison won the 20th Annual National Concrete Canoe Competition in June. The three-day event was organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers and hosted in Seattle by the University of Washington.

Winning for the fifth year in a row, the Wisconsin students’ technical skills, ingenuity and dedication propelled them to victory in their canoe, the Descendent. The 19.11-foot, 179-pound, natural gray canoe led the field of 22 teams from engineering schools from around the country. As the winner, the team will be invited to participate in the 30th Annual Dutch Concrete Canoe Challenge in the Netherlands in September.

The University of Florida paddled into second place with the blue, orange and gray, 135-pound, 19.105-foot-long Gladigator; and the University of Nevada, Reno, finished a close third with the white and blue, 177-pound, 19.11- foot-long Cerulean. For their top finishes, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Florida and University of Nevada, Reno, earned $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500 in scholarship money, respectively.

The races, both endurance and sprint combined, counted for 25 percent of the teams’ overall score. The remaining 75 percent was based on a technical design paper, a formal oral presentation in which the team had to detail their canoe’s features and defend their choices to judges, and the final racing canoe and project display, which was scored on aesthetics and visual presentation.

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