Cal Poly's concrete canoe team — kept afloat by its boat, van Gogh — captured its second consecutive national championship at the American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition, held June 23-25 in San Diego.
It was the fifth time Cal Poly has won the competition known as the "America's Cup of Civil Engineering," having previously picked up titles in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2017. The victory earned Cal Poly a $5,000 scholarship, according to a school news release.
"I'm not too surprised, because we were all very confident in the products and efforts that we put out," said project manager Brandon Friedman, a senior from Porter Ranch studying civil engineering. "Still, it's pretty humbling."
This year's 25 qualifying teams included two groups from Canada and one from China. Six wild-card teams were invited to participate and learn from other teams to take ideas back to their universities, the release said.
Cal Poly scored 95 points overall, outlasting the University of Florida (78.6), Quebec's Université Laval (60) and Shanghai's Tongji University (58).
Cal Poly finished first in nearly every category, including overall, oral presentation, final product, a co-ed sprint race, men's and women's endurance races and men's and women's sprint races. The Cal Poly team was third in the design paper category.
Cal Poly's 178-pound, nearly 20-foot long canoe was inspired by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, the release said.
The four paddlers were civil engineering seniors Hailey Bond of Costa Mesa, Mason Breipohl of Elk Grove and Eleni Korogianos of Long Beach, and Derek Fromm, a mechanical engineering senior from Seattle, Washington.