A duck. Apples. Very small rocks. What do these all have in common? Well, if Monty Python is to be believed, they all float in water.
British sketch comedy aside, go ahead and add canoes made of concrete to the list. Really.
This was again proven at the 17th Annual National Concrete Canoe Competition, conducted jointly by the American Society of Civil Engineers and concrete supplier Master Builders. The winner of this year's contest — held in Reston, Va. — was a team of engineering students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a 180-pound, 21 foot, 8 inch vessel christened “Rock Solid.”
Racing — men's, women's, and coed events of varying lengths — counted for just 25% of each team's overall score. Equal weight was given to the quality of an academic paper and a business presentation related to the design, and another 25% was based on the finished product.
The winning team received a $5,000 scholarship from DeGussa Admixtures. Canadian institution Universite Laval took the second place trophy but was ineligible for scholarship money. Third-place University of Alabama-Huntsville and fourth-place Clemson took home smaller scholarships.