Ahoy, concrete canoeheads!
This May 13 to 15, for the first time ever, Concordia put paddle to water in the Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition.
What's a concrete canoe, exactly? According to regulations, it's a boat that is indeed made from concrete — seven metres long and no wider than one metre. It must be able to carry four passengers and pass a flotation test that applies even if it's filled with water.
Since the Canadian competition's inception in 1995, more than 200 teams and 3,000 students have participated. This year's event was hosted by McGill University, and overseen by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers (CSCE).
Here Hyacinth Domagala, concrete canoe captain of the Concordia Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE), tells us what floated her team's boat...
The competition went better than we could have hoped for. After months of hard work, early mornings, late nights and lots of stress, I can say our team of 30 students from Concordia is extremely proud of what we accomplished.
Concordia placed eighth overall out of 14 teams across Canada — and that's on top of being one of two universities competing for the first time.
Our four-person coed team made it to the finals — in the top five teams — for the 400-metre sprint. The men's team came first in their 200-metre-sprint heat.
It was an amazing experience to be among schools and other students who have faced many of the same challenges and experiences we did. And although it was a competition, one of the most amazing aspects of it all was the comradery.
École de technologie supérieure was always ready to come to our aid — they lifted our paddlers into our canoe. Université de Sherbrooke lent us foam; McGill and École Polytechnique de Montréal gave us materials for our mix.
The Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition has such a unifying dynamic, and a great feeling of sportsmanship.
I think racing in the canoe that we made ourselves was one of the most amazing feelings.
My most emotional moment was when two of the judges came up to our team to congratulate us on having such a strong first year. They came to us — among all the other schools — to say how impressed they were with Concordia's entry.
My co-captain Paraskevas Mylonas and I can only smile and be proud of everything our team has achieved so far.
We're excited to see what we can accomplish next year, and in the years to come.
As a team, we are all looking forward to building off of what we learnt and built: we're motivated to come back even better and stronger — and many new students are expressing an interest in joining next year.
This student initiative was partially supported by a campaign on Concordia's crowdfunding platform, FundOne.
Find out more about studying civil engineering at Concordia.