The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race, or GNCTR, is an annual engineering competition hosted by a Canadian university each winter. The first GNCTR took place in 1974 in Red Deer, Alberta. The event brings together over 400 students from the top engineering programs across the country.
The basic premise of the competition is to build a toboggan with a concrete running surface, load it with five teammates, and race it down a snowy hill as quickly as possible. This tests students on their technical knowledge of materials and structures, teaches them to work with concrete, and develops their ability to work as a team. Universities compete in several judged categories, such as shortest race time, best overall design, best team spirit, and the coveted best overall team.
In order to qualify for competition, the toboggan must undergo and pass a safety inspection. There are five basic rules that govern the design of each toboggan registered in GNCTR:
- The running surface must be made entirely of concrete.
- The toboggan must carry five people safely.
- The toboggan must have a safety rollover bar (usually not made of concrete).
- The toboggan must have a braking and steering system.
- The toboggan must weigh less than 135kg excluding riders.
The Official Video of GNCTR 2012, hosted by the University of Calgary, can be found at the following link: