The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) is perhaps the most illustrious event to be part of as a student of civil engineering in Canada. The University of Calgary team was one of the founding participants of GNCTR when it was first held in 1972 and since then has produced a lineage of prestigious and successful toboggans:
- In 2000 the University of Calgary GNCTR “Ghostboggan” was awarded 1st overall at the competition at Carleton University; this success was repeated in 2004 as “Chuckboggan” claimed the 1st overall prize again.
- In 2006, 2007, and 2011 the University of Calgary “Mounty-my-boggan”, “Chickboggan”, and “Sledementary My Dear Watson!” respectively, won the award for Best team Costumes.
- In 2008, the Schulich school of Engineering “Rocky Balboggan” won the UofC’s first CIRCA Award for Best Use of Fly-Ash in Concrete, worth $2000. This award was hoisted a second time by UofC two years later in 2010, by the “Night of the Living Sled”, and a third time in 2011 as “Sledementary My Dear Watson!”
- In 2009 the Schulich School of Engineering designed and raced the fastest toboggan of the competition, at a stifling 63 km/h, and placed 3rd overall under the name “Save-a-Horse Ride a Boggan”.
- At the 2010 competition held in Hamilton by McMaster University, the Schulich School of Engineering “Night of the Living Sled” walked away with the first ever “King of the Hill” award for being the last toboggan standing in a series of one-on-one races. “Night of the Living Sled” was also awarded Best Concrete Mix Design, Best Reinforcing Design (for being the first team to introduce prestressed cable reinforcing to the competition), and 2nd place overall in Canada.
- In 2011 the event was hosted by the University of Alberta, and the UofC team “Sledementary My Dear Watson!” won 1st Overall in Canada; also taking home the honors for: Best Costumes, Best Technical Exhibit, People’s Choice Award team, the CIRCA Award, and Best Concrete Reinforcement.
- In 2012 the event was held by the University of Calgary, at Canada Olympic Park. The UofC team “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Bogg” won 2nd place overall in Canada, as well as Best Costumes.
Once again, this year the team is committed to honoring the University of Calgary legacy with dedicated teamwork, innovative design, a strong performance and another memorable experience for all involved.
The team consists of thirty students of different engineering disciplines. It involves the design of a new and innovative concrete mix and reinforcing, a lightweight and safe superstructure, and effective steering and braking systems all in order to achieve the fastest and most maneuverable 300 lb (or less) concrete toboggan in Canada. The competition also requires the selection and development of a theme reflected in every competition component: costumes, technical exhibit, team songs and chants, toboggan aesthetics and team paraphernalia. Project management, team building, logistics, budgeting and cost estimation, as well as technical skills are utilized and developed throughout the entire process.
Overall, the Schulich School of Engineering GNCTR team aims to blend the development of technical and project knowledge with the memorable life experience that attending a competition of this magnitude and history entails. Challenge yourself, and become a part of Canadian engineering history.
“Night of the Living Sled” after winning the 2010 “King of the Hill” competition