2017's Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) in Winnipeg was a success for the UBC Okanagan Team. A total of 22 teams attended, bringing approximately 500 students to the largest student-run engineering competition in Canada.
This year, the team's theme was Vikings. Accordingly, their toboggan, technical display and costumes were designed to showcase that theme.
Danielle Kennedy, the team's co-captain, said “This theme allowed the team to come up with new and innovative ideas, leading to a variety of awards.”
The UBC Okanagan team placed sixth overall, and brought home three first place trophies for Most Innovative Design, Most Aesthetically Pleasing Toboggan, and Best Technical Display. In addition, the team tied for first for Best Costume and was placed third for the Best Technical Report. The hill was not as steep as most teams are used to, but UBC Okanagan was one of only six teams to make it across the finish line.
"One of the highlights was that the team learned a lot by trying some new things this year, including using a new material for the superstructure, a rack-and-pinion steering system, and a spring-loaded braking system. In addition, we tested many different concrete mix designs to determine not only the strongest mix, but also the most sustainable." Kennedy said.
According to Kennedy, the team not only was able to achieve this success and gain valuable experience, but its members had a lot of fun over the course of the year and at the competition.
"From designing and building everything ourselves, to participating in the spirit challenges, we made it a very memorable experience and represented our school and campus well. We really appreciate the support that the team has received from its sponsors and the School of Engineering, without which none of this could have been be possible."