Tuesday, February 9, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin
UBC Icy Unit. Photo courtesy of UBC Concrete Toboggan.
UBC Concrete Toboggan achieved second place overall at this year’s Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) – their best result in over a decade.
Twenty five engineering students made up team UBC Icy Unit, which travelled to the University of Ottawa for the competition in late January. The team’s combined achievements in the areas of toboggan design, presentation, performance on race day, and team spirit resulted in their outstanding second place overall finish. Sam McIlwain, Concrete Toboggan team captain, notes the significance of this year’s results: “We had goals of placing in the top five this year, which seemed lofty considering previous years’ results… the second place finish was absolutely amazing and made all the work pay off!”
Participating in UBC Concrete Toboggan not only gives students the opportunity to practice important engineering skills, such as concrete and steel design, construction safety, teamwork, and organization; it also serves as a major highlight of their UBC experience. Sam notes: “Being able to attend a national competition with almost all of the top schools in Canada is a great experience, and will be one of the top memories that students will look back on once they graduate.” The team is thankful for the support from industry sponsors and UBC, in particular the Civil Engineering workshop staff who contributed extensive support to the team as they prepared for competition.
The conclusion of GNCTR marks the end of the competition season for UBC Concrete Toboggan; now, the team is working on making the leadership transition for next year and considering ways to place even higher at the 2017 event. “First place is now something within our grasp, and something we will aim for,” says Sam. “Winning the King of the Hill competition (the final race day tournament) next year would also be great!”
Watch below – UBC Icy Unit competes in the “King of the Hill” final race day tournament!