As you all probably know, the UNR concrete canoe team placed first at the Mid-Pacific Conference (Mid-Pac) at the beginning of April and will be headed to the National Concrete Canoe Competition in Clemson, South Carolina this month. This is the tenth consecutive year that our university has qualified for the national competition. In light of this achievement, I wanted to talk a little about my experience with concrete canoe and share some facts that you all may not know about the competition and history.
Although Nevada competed in the concrete canoe competition in the 1990s, we never qualified for the national competition. From what I gather, the last concrete canoe we had was in 1998 before the program died for 7 years. In 2005 a student named Kevin Crifasi decided to resurrect the competition team. That year we placed fifth overall in the regional conference, which wasn’t bad considering we began from scratch. A funny story about that year’s conference is that the host school actually gave us the third place trophy at the banquet, but then realized that they read the wrong list of winners, and then made us give the trophy back. We were a little disappointed, but we decided not to make a run for it with the award.
In 2006 we qualified for the National Concrete Canoe Competition after placing second behind UC Berkeley at Mid-Pac. That year I gave the oral presentation and paddled the canoe. At the national competition our canoe started cracking during the races and we were taking on serious amounts of water during the final race. But it didn’t break in half or sink, which was a success in our minds. We placed first in the oral presentation and fourth in the design paper. We were also given the Spirit of the Competition award. To our surprise, we placed sixth overall, which began our legacy as a top national contender in this competition.
As our team heads to Clemson, SC I want to wish them the best of luck! I also want to thank all of the alumni and community members who have made the continued success of the program possible. Your continued encouragement and support has made this experience possible for our students. Go Pack!
Kelly Doyle, P.E.
President, ASCE Truckee Meadows Branch