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Concrete canoes? Watch them race on Lake LaSalle

Students taking part in the concrete canoe races on Lake LaSalle in 2009, the last time UB hosted the ASCE's regional student conference. Photo: Douglas Levere

By CORY NEALON

Published April 13, 2016

April is too early for most paddlers in Buffalo, but frigid waters won’t deter 100 or so engineering students from across the state and Canada who aim to win Saturday’s concrete canoe race on Lake LaSalle.

The student teams — from UB, Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and 11 other institutions — must design, build and paddle their boats on the lake, where temperatures are still in the 40s.

The concrete canoe contest, as well as a steel bridge building contest, are part of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ annual upstate New York student conference, which opens at UB on April 14 with technical presentations. UB last hosted the conference in 2009.

Both contests are free and open to the public.

The best time to see the concrete canoe races is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 16 at Baird Point on Lake LaSalle on the North Campus.

The top two teams will be invited to compete in the national competition in Utah in May.

The bridge-building contest will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 15 in the main gym in Alumni Arena, North Campus. The best time to see the contest is from 10 a.m. to noon.

The top two teams will be invited to compete in the national competition in Texas in June.