Q: Are there any materials from the vineyards in your canoe?
Materials such as cork, sawdust, and other reused products were tested for incorporation into the concrete. However, strength and finish surfaces requirements were not met for implementation into the final mix design.

Q: Did you face any challenges meeting the specific concrete materials criteria set by the CNCCC this year?
With the specified material requirements, the team's greatest challenge included producing a concrete mixture with a good balance of strength and density. If densities are too low, strengths diminish, alternatively, higher density concrete produces greater strengths, but subsequently a heavier canoe during races.

Q: How did the materials guidelines affect your team's work?
The design parameters greatly affected the concrete used in this year's canoe. A maximum cement to cementitious materials ratio and incorporation of recycled aggregates focused the team's research and development to create an ideal substance for the competition. These guidelines required the team to turn its focus to sustainability and implementation of new materials.

Q: What are the most innovative things you have done or seen in this competition?
Vintage incorporates several key innovations. A post-tensioning system features four tendons running down the chine of the canoe. These tendons induce compression, reducing tensile stresses which concrete is inherently weak in. Additionally, a carbon sequestering cementitious material helps to reduce the carbon footprint.

Q: Do you think the students in this competition are ahead of the industry with the materials or technology they use, or do they follow industry trends?
The materials used in this competition are highly specialized, which limits use in industry. However, knowledge and skills gained through the competition allow participants to develop a myriad of skills that are extremely useful and pertinent to industry.

Q: What's the best thing about this competition, from an engineering student's perspective?
This competition allows students to gain hands-on experience and obtain useful knowledge in more than just a technical aspect; it also requires members to work as a team to achieve a set of goals. The combination of these facets leads to the development of leadership skills as well as the creation of life-long relationships.

Q: What predictions do you have for the concrete canoes of the future? Do you foresee any game-changing materials or techniques that will be used?
The concrete canoes significantly change with the design parameters. The restriction of latex paint and incorporation of Siscor glass spheres drastically changed the construction and design of the canoes several years ago. The significant rule changes for this year included fabricating a canoe to specified dimensions with prescribed tolerances.

Innovative techniques and materials are observed every year at the NCCC. Through research and development, we always come up some of our own, but it's also intriguing to see what other schools have implemented.