Last week, I should have informed you about the biggest sporting event of the summer. No, not the Olympics. No, not the NBA finals or the Stanley Cup series.

The most spectacular sporting event of the summer took place last week on the campus of University of Nevada, Reno. It was (are you sitting down?) – the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Concrete Canoe Competition. You may think, “Hmmm, concrete is not usually the stuff of canoes. Wouldn’t it sink?” You may be right. But given their ingenuity, making the material lighter, improving on the design of the canoe, and, of course, using brute force in canoeing, engineers from numerous universities built and raced canoes made out of concrete! It was particularly special this year, being the 25th annual competition. You can read all about it at this link:

Concrete Canoe Competition

You will see that points were awarded in various stressful parts of the competition to add up to determine the overall winner, but individual teams got plaques in area like, “Best Design Paper”, “Women’s Slalom/Endurance Race”, and, likely the most scary of all for the engineers, “Best Oral Presentation”. But some scholarship money is on the line, so know that the engineers gave it all for the glory of being crowned Concrete Canoe Champion. (Unfortunately, the trophy, which weighs in excess of 700 pounds is never taken home by the winning team.)

California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo won the competition this year. Congratulations!

Don’t tell me engineers don’t know how to have fun.