Sunday, April 27, 2014

CCNY Concrete Canoe Team at Sebago (PS - THEY WON!)

4/28/14 Morning Update - YOWZA! This just in from the head of the Canoe Committee:"Please pass the word ......... The CCNY engineering students won overall FIRST PLACE at the American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition at Cook's Pond!!! 

They have much thanks and appreciation for their training at Sebago. They set course record for Coed! 

 They immediately asked if they can return to train at Sebago for the nationals in Pittsburg in 2 months! 

 Bravo Sebago!"

Too cool! 
Oy. Here we are, two weeks after the Season Opener, and I still haven't finished talking about what we found going on back in the basin, after our paddle around Canarsie Pol and prior to retiring to the clubhouse for the traditional consumption of mass quantities.

We found a crew of energetic young folks charging around the basin in a most unusual craft - a canoe made out of concrete. 
This group was the City College of New York's 2014 Concrete Canoe team, who'd been working with members of Sebago's Canoe Committee for a few weeks.

The American Society of Civil Engineers hosts this annual competition (which began in 1988, not surprisingly in Michigan, a canoe-crazy state if ever there was one). Teams are challenged to design, build, and finally race their own concrete canoes.

From the ASCE's Concrete Canoe site: "The ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC) provides students with a practical application of the engineering principles they learn in the classroom, along with important team and project management skills they will need in their careers. The event challenges the students' knowledge, creativity and stamina, while showcasing the versatility and durability of concrete as a building material."

It was really neat finally seeing one of the boats! Like most people, when I think of something made out of concrete, I think of something that's solid and immobile - fascinating seeing it made into something floaty and fleet. I should've take a close-up or two - the boat had nice racing lines to it but when you looked at it closely, it absolutely wasn't pretending to be made out of anything but concrete (and I think they said it took about 7 people to move it around).

The team had been coming out for a few weeks in all kinds of weather and were being coached primarily by a member of the Canoe Committee who's done a lot of dragon boat racing. I'm not a great judge of canoe technique but I thought they were really looking like racers, and they had the boat well under control on what had turned into a very breezy afternoon. 

For a few more pix, click here.  


clairesgarden said...

very interesting, presume it has lots of flotation in it ? in case it sinks?

bonnie said...

I didn't get a full rundown on the construction but I suspect that the bow & stern sections with the blue decking that you can see in the 2nd picture are sealed compartments full of air. They have to pass a "swamp test" before they race.

my2fish said...

Very cool! My degree is civil engineering, and my college normally does a concrete canoe too. I never got involved in it, but I don't think they ever practiced paddling it... great idea.

O Docker said...

If it was built in NYC, they probably had to use union crews for the construction.

I don't think I'd be asking a lot of questions about what is sealed in those watertight concrete compartments.