UT Tyler wins first in a state concrete canoe competition - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

UT Tyler wins first in a state concrete canoe competition

It's an unusual competition that has brought UT Tyler to the top out of several Texas universities and colleges.

UT Tyler won first place in the 2013 Concrete Canoe Competition, and will represent the state of Texas this summer in the national competition.

The students are mostly civil engineering students who volunteer to be part of the canoe team. 

The team beat 14 schools from the state of Texas, and a few schools from Mexico.

This year's theme that they picked was, golf.

They made the canoe white, with dimples, and presented it on a tee. The name of their canoe is, Chip Shot.

"You base everything on the canoe around that theme. Our product display is a scorecard, so it goes along with the golf theme, and the canoe itself is dimpled like a golf ball," says the captain of the team, Marco Weidmer.

"It's pretty cool that our little school can go represent us on a big stage and do well. We can compete at nationals and I think we have a good shot this year to do well," says Weidmer.

The competition is held by the American Society of Civil Engineering and it consists of four categories: Technical design, oral presentation, the final look, and of course the racing.

"It's a concrete canoe, you wouldn't think it would be able to float, let alone go fast or be able to maneuver in the water and make a turn. So it's really cool to take your final product out there and just have fun with it," says Weidmer.

Advisor Doctor Michael McGinnis says the team knocked it out of the park in all areas of the competition, especially the oral presentation.

"We walked out of there and it was obvious, ok, they are on their game. They know better than anyone else of what's going on here and it was just crystal clear and it was like UT Tyler, awesome," says McGinnis.

The students favorite division of the competition is the racing.

"It's kind of cool to see all your work go into the races and that you can actually race these canoes and you can be fast," says Weidmer.

"You can see there's a lot of engineering that goes into this silly competition. When I say, 'concrete canoe', to somebody they give me a look, and of course it's true, because it's silly, and yet it's not silly," explains McGinnis.

The national competition will take place at the University of Illinois in June.

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