This Sunday at 9:00 AM, the UBC Okanagan's concrete toboggan team will be testing their creation at Big White's Tube Town.
UBC Okanagan Engineering students have designed and built a concrete toboggan that carries 5 people down a steep hill.
The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race, or GNCTR, is an annual engineering competition hosted by a different Canadian university each winter.
The basic premise of the competition is to build a toboggan with a concrete running surface, load it with five teammates, and race it down a snowy hill as quickly as possible. This tests students on their technical knowledge of materials and structures, teaches them to work with concrete, and develops their ability to work as a team.
Universities compete in several judged categories, such as shortest race time, best overall design, best team spirit, and the coveted best overall team.
This year's competition has incorporated a new slalom section, which will test each toboggan's steering and braking abilities.
In order to qualify for competition, the toboggan must undergo and pass a safety inspection and there are five basic rules that govern the design of each toboggan:
- The running surface must be made entirely of concrete.
- The toboggan must carry five people safely.
- The toboggan must have a safety rollover bar (usually not made of concrete).
- The toboggan must have a braking and steering system.
- The toboggan must weigh less than 135kg excluding riders.
After their test run, the toboggan will be shipped to Vancouver where the team will compete against 400 other students from Engineering schools across Canada on January 23~27.