June 25, 2013
The concrete canoe is now on display in the Walker foyer. I have attached two photos of the canoe team taken at the awards banquet Saturday night. Here is a link to the NY Times article on the competition. As they put it, at the National Concrete Canoe Competition engineering students raced aboard vessels they designed to float using a material that is normally the stuff of parking garages:
The MState group finished 20th overall. They finished 15th in the women’s endurance race, 16th in the men’s endurance race, but the other three races were cancelled due to weather. (Personally, I think they would have done better in the races that were cancelled given how close they were in these races. 30 seconds faster and they would have finished 3 places higher ahead of Clemson.) They had no deductions on their report, passed the swamp test without concern, and were only 8 lbs. off when they weighted the boat.
One problem they had to overcome was that one of the chief designers of the boat (Andy Odenthal) was not able to attend as he in now on active duty in the Navy leaving the presentation team a little short on the historic knowledge needed to answer very difficult questions. Still, it is reported by the judges they did “a nice job” and demonstrated “southern charm!”
The second problem was access. The boat, being built at the Raspet lab, was not readily available for the students to work on the final finish. Note in the NT Times article that the students of the best boats spent over 350 man-hours just finishing the boat.
Overall, quoting one of the judges, the MState team was “…very intelligent and a classy team…” For only the second time the MState team has made it to nationals, they have nothing to be sad about.