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Nevada team builds, paddles concrete canoe to victory
by Tribune Staff
Mar 29, 2012 | 1070 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The University of Nevada, Reno engineering students concrete canoe competition team placed first in the 2012 ASCE Mid-Pac Concrete Canoe Competition held in Berkeley, Calif. last week. The Mens Sprint team, pictured here, one was one of four of the Wolf Pack teams who placed first in their race, giving them the overall race win.
The University of Nevada, Reno engineering students concrete canoe competition team placed first in the 2012 ASCE Mid-Pac Concrete Canoe Competition held in Berkeley, Calif. last week. The Mens Sprint team, pictured here, one was one of four of the Wolf Pack teams who placed first in their race, giving them the overall race win.
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RENO — Civil and environmental engineering students at the University of Nevada, Reno paddled their 160-pound concrete canoe to victory Friday in the annual regional competition held this year in Berkeley, Calif. Using significant science and plenty of muscle, the Wolf Pack team beat out teams from eight northern California universities to earn a seventh trip in seven years to the national competition. The national competition will be hosted this year by the University of Nevada, Reno in June.

“This achievement is great, and the consistency of success over the years is even more amazing,” said Manos Maragakis, dean of the College of Engineering. “It speaks well of the quality of our students, year after year being dominant in a highly competitive region, including U.C. Berkeley, and then going to nationals and getting top finishes.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Pac Region Conference event is more than building and paddling a 20-foot canoe made out of concrete — a six-month undertaking — it includes equal scores for design, preparing and presenting a technical paper and final product. The Nevada team placed first in four of the canoe races, and second in the fifth, as well as first place in the design paper and second place in the oral presentation portion of the competition.

The team’s canoe was 15 pounds lighter than last year’s 175-pound canoe in which they placed second at nationals. The canoe was the lightest, by 40 pounds, of any other in this year’s competition. The lightest Wolf Pack canoe weighed 140 pounds in 2010 when the team placed fifth in nationals. In the past, teams from other schools have built and raced in canoes reported to weigh as much as 750 pounds. The aggregates used in the concrete mixture play an important role in the strength and weight of the concrete and the Nevada team spent innumerable hours perfecting the mixture, building on past year’s experience. The mixture must also be pliable for shaping and able to be spread to the half-inch thickness of the hull.

The competition included teams from California State University, Chico; California State University, Fresno; California State University, Sacramento; San Francisco State University; San Jose State University; Santa Clara University; U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The 25th annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition is being hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno at the Sparks Marina and on the university’s campus June 14 through 16. There will be two dozen teams participating, representing 18 ASCE regions from around the country.

For more information about the team visit their website at www.nevadacanoe.com. For a short video, visit http://bit.ly/GUXm8g.

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