In the weekend from the 25th until the 27th of May: sunshine, enthousiasm and concrete canoes! After 8 months of planning the event finally became reality and there could have been no greater reward than all of the happy faces we saw and the compliments we got from the participants, sponsors and visitors during the weekend.
On Friday, all the teams arrived and prepared their canoes for display and inspection. The canoes were placed in the areas assigned per team and one by one brought to the jury. Here, Simon Wijte (TU/e and Hageman), Marco Hutteman (BouwQ), and Marjolein Humme (Betonvereniging) weighed, measured, and judged the canoes on their looks, ideas and construction process as explained by the teams.
The lightest canoe was only 7.4 kilograms and was made by the TU Dresden. However, one day later it turned out that this canoe was not able to race the minimum required distance of 100 meter, and therefore the price for the lightest canoe was won by “Rosa Schweinchen auf Grüner Wiese”, also made by the TU Dresden, with a weight of 23.6 kilograms.
The heaviest canoe was the 3D printed canoe made by Utrecht University of Applied Science with a weight of over 400 kilograms!
Besides these quantitively decided prizes, the judges also looked for the winners of the most innovative canoe, the BouwQ 360 Quality award, and the unluckiest canoe.
The most innovative canoe was a floating foundation beam made by B-Invented. The judges appreciated the fact that the team did not use the standard shape of a canoe and tried to make it out of concrete, but took a structural element and modified it to become a canoe itself.
The BouwQ 360 Quality Award was won by the HTWK Leipzig with their canoe “Blackbeerd”. The judges appreciated the use of glassfibre in the walls of the canoe and carbon in the bottom. The quality of both the in- and outside was very high and two composite materials were applied.
Lastly, the team from the University of Applied Sciences in Enschede won the price for the unluckiest canoe, since their first canoe broke on transport and their second canoe early in the races on Saturday, which excluded them from participating.
On Saturday at 9:00 in the morning, the 100 meter men started, followed by the 100 meter women and the 100 meter mixed. As it turned out, the technique from the German teams from Leipzig and Regensburg gave them an enormous advantage over the other teams. The 100 meter men and mixed were won by Leipzig in 20.0 and 21.4 seconds, while the 100 meter women was won by Regensburg in 24.7 seconds.
During the end of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon, the 200 meter races took place. In this race, the teams had to make a turn around a buoy at the end of the 100 meter track, which introduced another element of skill. The team from the University of Twente practiced their turns well, which lead them to win in the women and mixed category in 65.2 and 60.1 seconds . On the 200 meter men, Leipzig was still too strong to be beaten, which lead them to win this race as well in 53.0 seconds.
At the end of the afternoon, the surprise race was planned. During this race, the participants had to start on the beach, run to their canoe, and collect as many inflated animals from the water as possible within 5 minutes. For this race, not only speed was important, but also tactics. As it turned out, the team from Regensburg succeeded the best to combine both tactics and speed, which made them again victorious after winning in the finale.
The prizes that were won by the teams were made of a lightweight concrete in the shape of the logo of this year’s race: A lightbulb, referring to the history and innovative character of Eindhoven, including the flag of Eindhoven, paddles, and a canoe.
We look back on a beautiful weekend full of sunshine, laughter, excitement and wish Den Bosch the best of luck for next year!