For the past three weeks, a few of our club members have been coaching
Cornell University’s Concrete Canoe team. We have already had 13
Civil Engineering undergraduate students show up for practices,
including 4 exchange students from Spain. Many of the students have
never paddled in any boats, and have excitedly climbed into the
outrigger canoes to learn the basics of paddling in preparation for
their race this upcoming spring.
The students have a daunting task — designing the concrete mix,
building a mold, and actually creating their own canoe out of
concrete. Once the canoe survives the journey on the road to the
regional competition, they must be sure that their canoe floats and
supports the weight of the paddlers, as they must complete three races
on the water. Last year was the first year that they completed all
three races, and we are hoping that after training in the outriggers
and in some other canoes, they will not only complete their races, but
maybe they’ll win!
Both the outrigger club and students are grateful to have Terry on
board, as he is such an experienced paddler and a very thoughtful and
motivating coach. It is an absolute joy paddling with the students —
they are excited to learn proper technique and to see the beautiful
scenery along Cayuga Lake during our last few weeks of “warm” water.
They have ambitiously climbed through the logs at the marina that
washed up after the hurricanes and tropical storms, and they are eager
to try to paddle the OC-6 single-handedly to impress their teammates.
A lot of the students are quite good — maybe we can convince them to
stay at Cornell for a few extra years so that they can paddle with the
club! I am grateful to have a few more weeks to work together this
fall, and will be crossing my fingers for a successful boat
construction and race come May.
Thanks to Terry, Paul W, Paul C, and everyone who has supported this
from the club, and to the students for their eager participation and
great attitudes on the water — certainly a fun way to end the season!