Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race
|Type||Engineering Student Competition|
The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) is an annual event that challenges the creativity of engineering students. The competition originated in 1974 and was created by Dr. S. H. Simmonds, president of the Alberta chapter of the American Concrete Institute. The first race was held in 1975 with participants from the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Since its beginning, GNCTR has grown to include universities and technical schools from across Canada with occasional entries from the United States and Europe.
The project involves designing and constructing a toboggan with a metal frame and a running surface made completely out of concrete and racing it down a steep snow-covered hill. The sled must weigh less than 350 pounds (160 kg), have a working braking system, and be fitted with a roll bar to protect its five passengers. Each competing team must complete a technical report summarizing the design, which is presented at a public technical exhibition.
It is traditional for teams to choose a theme for their sled; they often wear appropriate costumes and incorporate elements of the design into their technical exhibit and sled aesthetics. This has become a major part of the competition, making up a large part of the spirit award, as well as the best uniforms award. Theme ideas are most often drawn from pop culture or retro references, or based on the team's home university/college and its location.
Teams are judged for top speed, best run, most improved team, braking, and aesthetics. Each year an award is also given for the best overall entry.
In the early years of the competition, the winning team was asked to host the subsequent competition; by the mid-1990s, this had changed to an alternating scheme between Western and Eastern Canadian schools; the dividing line is the Manitoba-Ontario border. The competition usually runs from Wednesday to Sunday, at the end of January or over the first weekend in February.
- Official GNCTR 2018 Website
- Official GNCTR 2017 Website
- University of British Columbia's Team Website
- Carleton University's Official GNCTR Team Website
- University of Calgary GNCTR Website
- Dalhousie University's GNCTR Website
- McMaster University GNCTR Website
- Université de Sherbrooke's Toboggus Team Website
- University of Toronto GNCTR Website
- University of Waterloo GNCTR Website
- Western Engineering Toboggan Team Website