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Concrete Canoe Team Wins Third Competition

June 29, 2005

Civil and environmental engineering students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison defended their first-place title in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition in Clemson, S.C., June 25-27.

“UW-Madison is the only school in the history of the ASCE Concrete Canoe competition to win three consecutive times. Our students are very proud and excited, and deserve our congratulations,” says Steve Cramer, civil and environmental engineering professor. “This is an incredibly competitive event. All of the students in this competition pour their hearts and souls into designing and building the best boat possible. So it’s fun, it’s educational, but they are also very serious about it.”

The Badgers 21.5-foot, 175-pound, orange, black and white canoe, the Taliesin, defeated entries from 20 other top engineering schools from across the country. For their creativity and innovation, the team earned a $5,000 scholarship from Degussa Admixtures, Inc.

The team’s closest competitors were Clemson University and Michigan Tech University. Clemson, the host school for this year’s competition, paddled into second place with their black, 202-pound, 21.4-foot Aces Wild; and Michigan Tech finished a close
third with their black, 175-pound, 20-foot The MacInnes.

Engineering students competed for $9,000 in scholarships by posting the best overall score in several categories. The races, both endurance and sprint combined, counted for 25 percent of the teams’ overall score. The remaining 75 percent was comprised
of an academic paper, an oral presentation detailing their design and the end product – the final racing canoe.

Prior to the races, the canoes had to pass a “swamp” test where the students completely submerge the canoes in a tank of water to prove that they are still able to float horizontally when filled with water. Canoes were measured, weighed and judged based on aesthetics by both the national competition judges and the competitors.

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