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GNCTR 2023 Closing Remarks

The Organizing Committee of GNCTR 2023 would like to make our closing remarks for this year’s competition. At this time, we will be addressing the technical aspects of the competition only.

As with any engineering project, there have been many interesting challenges, key learning moments, and, most importantly large successes to celebrate at this year’s Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race competition. We would like to thank our competitors, sponsors, volunteers, event venue organizers and all others associated with the competition. It was clear how much hard work and dedication was put into the preparation and execution of concrete toboggan this year.

The OC would like you to recall the opening ceremonies when our faculty greeted you to Kelowna and UBC Okanagan to enjoy our competition and festivities. From the first moments of meeting all our competitors it was obvious we were in for a treat. It was fantastic to see everyone’s excitement and enthusiasm during the opening skits (not to mention some amazing dance moves!). Thank you for hyping up the opening ceremonies and for being respectful as we quieted down in in preparation for the early mornings to come.

We hope you enjoyed your time exploring the city of Kelowna and the UBC Okanagan campus during our Competitor Interaction Day, and that you were able to learn more about the Okanagan and the history of the Syilx People of the Okanagan Nation.

Technical Exhibition Day was a wonderful showcase of the efforts you put into your theme! We thank all the competitors who were brave enough to represent their teams during the technical presentations. Our OC has first-hand experience of how nerve-racking this can be, but we know that these skills will be invaluable for your careers to come. To our judges on this day, thank you for your patience, insightful questions and for remaining unbiased in your assessment of the technical information presented at this year’s competition. Thank you to both our judges and competitors for working with our safety team to ensure all toboggans were safe to race and for working with our altered safety inspection schedule. It was inspiring to see that no toboggans passed the initial safety inspection, yet all toboggans were cleared to race prior to the start of race day. This is a strong indication that teams were truly able to think on their feet and problem-solve during stressful situations. We would like to say a special thank you to our technical judges, Trevor Billows, Cole Frederiksen, Tatyjania Khounviseth, Simon Lesiuk, and Karen Smith, as well as our safety judges, Mitchell Adams, Parker Gavey and Michel Servant for holding the toboggans safety and design to their high standards. It is not an easy task to determine that a team is not fit for race day, but we are very proud that all teams took their inspection results back to the drawing board to rectify all failed requirements. Great work!

Put simply, Race Day of GNCTR 2023 was an outstanding success. We saw our competitors put the toboggans to the test against the grand Big White Ski Resort, and come out on top! We are stoked that the “Us vs. Hill” scoring was a resounding win for us! In fact, at the end of race day, all toboggans had remained on their skis throughout every race! This reflects very positively on the thought process behind the designs of all toboggans. We would like to congratulate the University of Toronto for winning our King of the Hill race day tournament with a top speed recorded of 47 km/hr.


For our overall winners:
In third place... the
In second place... UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO!

And in first place... drumroll please... WESTERN UNIVERSITY!!


Congratulations to all teams. Each one of you did so well for not having an in-person concrete toboggan competition to have learned from for the past two competition years. It was amazing to walk around and overhear discussions on what could be improved for next year rather than focusing on any struggles and things that may not have worked out this year.


In closing, we would like to thank our amazing volunteers who helped everything run smoothly, and our sponsors of GNCTR 2023 for their support and for making this year’s competition possible in the first place. PCL, as our Tech-Ex event day sponsor, has been with the competition for many years. Their longstanding participation, mentorship, and guidance is invaluable and greatly appreciated. We are also so happy to welcome Secure Energy, our Race Day event sponsor, into the GNCTR family. Thank you to our gold sponsor Emil Anderson Construction for their support and participation at our Technical Exhibition. Thank you to our silver sponsors, Bronswerk Marine Inc., Fast + Epp, Maple Reinders, McElhanney, Nauto, RJC, Stream-Flo, and the UBC Okanagan Engineering Society, and our bronze sponsor VDZ + A. Finally, a special thank you to UBC’s School of Engineering, whose support of GNCTR 2023 helped make it a reality.

We are so excited to see all who return to the next GNCTR competition.


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