Category Archives: Concrete Canoe

PSWC 2014 Co-ed Canoe Race

PSWC 2014 Co-ed Canoe Race Heat

Here’s a video of our co-ed sprint heat from the canoe races at PSWC 2014, courtesy of captain Jake’s parents. This was the first heat we’ve won in years! Our team took advantage of DiSCovery II’s straight speed and their extensive preparation on their way to qualify for the small final. The coed race consists of two down-and-back laps for a total distance of 400 meters.

USC ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference 2014 team picture.

PSWC 2014 Results

I’ll start off by putting this into perspective and context. Historically, USC ASCE typically places top-three in one or two events at PSWC. Our 18-school conference, combined with perennial powerhouses in the concrete canoe competition, make our conference one of the most competitive of the 15 in the country.

Last year, our only victory, albeit significant, was our first-place environmental win. This year, going into the awards banquet we didn’t expect much, but were proud of our collective effort.

We started out the awards banquet with a 1st place victory in the Scavenger Hunt competition. Despite having a team less than half the size of many other schools, our focus and determination led us to win one of the most fun events, finding cool spots and landmarks around SDSU’s campus and throughout San Diego.

Our 1st-place-winning Scavenger Hunt Team
Our 1st-place-winning Scavenger Hunt Team

 

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd place in Lightness and Construction Speed
Steel Bridge Team: 3rd place in Lightness and Construction Speed

Steel Bridge won 3rd place in construction speed, completing the construction of their bridge in roughly 18 minutes. They also won 3rd in bridge lightness. Our team ended up placing 3rd overall, earning an invitation to the AISC/ASCE National Steel Bridge Competition in Akron, OH!

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd Place Overall
Steel Bridge Team: 3rd Place Overall

Last year, our Concrete Canoe team had their first canoe to successfully survive every race in three years, but placed 14th overall. Despite deductions in the oral presentation and final product categories due to technicalities, the Concrete Canoe team placed 6th overall and won 3rd in design paper!

Concrete Canoe Team: 3rd Place in Design Paper (team photo interrupted by 3rd place overall celebration)
Concrete Canoe Team: 3rd Place in Design Paper (team photo interrupted by 3rd place overall celebration)

Our paddling team also did well, placing 7th overall. Highlights included our women’s slalom team placing sixth, our 4-person co-ed team winning their heat, and our men’s sprint team winning the small final by less than a second to place 6th, after missing the big final qualification by only a second.

Considering where we were just a year ago, and the fact that most of this year’s USC ASCE PSWC team were first-time attendees, all of these results are spectacular. But as we were celebrating our successes, we won an award that we never expected: 3rd place overall for the entire conference!

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration
USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

The overall conference rank is determined by summing all of the weighted points earned for each event, including canoe and bridge, the smaller design teams, and the sports tournaments. To win, a school must be well-rounded, participate in every event, and fight to win individual games, even if they don’t win entire sports tournaments. USC ASCE has not placed this high in the overall conference rank since 1994. Our 3rd place finish would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our entire team.

Here’s the event placement breakdown that led to our 3rd-place overall finish:

  • Concrete Canoe – 6th
  • Steel Bridge – 3rd
  • Technical Paper – 5th
  • Geotechnical / Geowall  - Participated
  • Environmental – 5th
  • Surveying – 7th
  • Impromptu & Mystery – Participated
  • Family Feud Quiz – T5th
  • Basketball – T5th
  • Volleyball – Participated
  • Ultimate Frisbee – T5th
  • Tug of War – Participated
  • Kan Jam (2 teams) – T5th, Participated
  • Scavenger Hunt – 1st
  • Concrete Bowling – Participated

PSWC 2014 Complete Results

PSWC 2014 Event Point Distribution

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration
USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

This year, we proved that just because we have a smaller department, fewer resources, and less manpower than other schools doesn’t mean that we can’t be successful. Let’s celebrate our victories, analyze our weaknesses, and come back next year ready to take 1st!

PSWC 2014: Awards Banquet

PSWC 2014 Day 3: Awards Banquet

At the PSWC Awards Banquet, all of the conference attendees gather for a nice dinner and to celebrate their victories at PSWC. We went in expecting to place top-three in maybe one of the smaller events. But we came out with our best year overall since 1994, placing 3rd overall thanks to the hard work of our entire team. Check out the details of our results here.

2014-DiSCovery-II-team

PSWC 2014 Day 2: Concrete Canoe Races

The main event of PSWC Day 2 is the Concrete Canoe Race Competition. All 16 schools with functional canoes compete in 5 events:

  • Men’s Endurance/Slalom (time-based)
  • Women’s Endurance/Slalom
  • Men’s Sprints (Heats, Small & Big Finals)
  • Women’s Sprints
  • Co-ed Double-sprints (4-person)

Our canoe successfully made it through all of the races, and looked great in the process!

Partial Canoe Team with DiSCovery II.

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Canoe & Bridge Aesthetics

PSWC 2014 Started off with a beautiful day of Concrete Canoes and Steel Bridges on display!

The Steel Bridge team practices assembling their bridge.

Final PSWC 2014 Preparations

All of our design teams are busy with last-minute preparations for PSWC 2014. We’re off to San Diego tonight, excited to compete!

canoe-update

Concrete Canoe Update

We’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our concrete canoe and its auxiliary components over the past few weeks. Our cut-away section is a seven-foot-long space shuttle, complete with red steel stands (not pictured):

space-shuttle-section

Our two stands include a massive asteroid (made out of concrete, of course), and a special robotic guest:

asteroid-stand

We’re building some other cool stuff, including a canoe, of course, but you’ll have to wait until PSWC to see everything else. For now check out the construction pics:

2014 Practice Canoe Fresh out of the Mold

After pour day, we decided to re-pour this year’s canoe with a better reinforcement product, as the reinforcement led to the canoe being much thicker than we had designed. But we’re saving this first canoe for practice! Here it is, fresh out of the mold:

Our 2014 practice canoe, DiSCovery I, fresh out of the mold, with the construction team.
Our 2014 practice canoe, fresh out of the mold, with the construction team.

Yes, it’s so smooth, it’s shiny!

pour-day-2014

Pour Day 2014

Our 2014 Pour Day for Concrete Canoe went well, with three layers of concrete and two layers of carbon fiber grid reinforcement going into our homemade mold in about ten hours of work. Roughly fifteen members helped out including a few dedicated non-canoe-team helpers. We finished off the bulkheads, so the only remaining concrete placement will be for the edges and any patches.

canoe-showcase-website-2013-sc-traveler

Concrete Canoe Showcase

The Concrete Canoe Team has just launched a new showcase website for our Concrete Canoe! The site features a concise summary of each year’s canoe going back to 2011, including key pictures, the design paper, PSWC results, and more.

Now that 2014 is almost upon us we need your help to finish designing and to build our next canoe. If you’re interested in canoe email canoe@uscasce.com for more info on how to get involved!