U of C Wins Concrete Toboggan Race

U of C engineering students brought a little western charm, spirit and culture to the nation’s capital city at this year’s Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race – and won, too.

The team of 27 students spent the entire four-day event in February sporting black chaps, cowboy hats, vests and red T-shirts, yelling spirited yeehaas and line-dancing though town. They raced their pride and joy — a 300-lb. concrete vehicle dubbed Chuckboggan – and demonstrated their engineering forethought at their technical exhibit booth, the Rusty Re-Bar.

Hard and Fast
U of C's Chuckboggan and a whole bunch of western spirit combined for a list of awards, during the Great Northern Concrete Tobaggan Race

Not only did the Calgary students’ western charm and intellect win them the title of most loved team and some complimentary poutine from the locals, but they were also awarded the best costume award, the best technical exhibit (the Rusty Re-Bar), the most improved team overall and the first place overall winner.

Is that enough? Not quite. U of C also won the bid to host next year’s competition.

“This was an amazing competition,” says Chuckboggan project manager Lee Martin. “The entire team was invested and involved in the project, right from the beginning. We even had some 20 students at the Women’s World Cup event where we first tested our Chuckboggan.

“Support from professor Lyne CoweFalls was also instrumental and noteworthy. She was the only faculty member in Canada to fly out for the competition.

“Our team bonded throughout the process and that unison was key to our success in Ottawa. We are incredibly thrilled that we get to give Canada a Calgary welcome at next year’s competition.”

Carleton University hosted the event in Ottawa from Feb. 4 to 8. This was the 30th anniversary of the competition, which attracts universities from across Canada and the U.S.

The competition was created by professors of the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta and the American Concrete Institute as a rival to the concrete canoe competition. U of C engineering students have participated in the event since its inception and have hosted the event numerous times.

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