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Annual Concrete Boat Race 2015

A very cool and windy early morning greeted the hundreds of students, members and their guests at this year's Annual Concrete Boat Race Day.

Benoni Sailing Club at Homestead Lake, was once again selected for the event because of its prime location, generous size and it amenities – all of which easily accommodated this growing event in the Inland Branch calendar of activities.

The day started with the judging if the boats that had been constructed by the university student from UJ and Tukkies. The 47 concrete boats were lined up along the lakeside, having been carefully and enthusiastically constructed by university students to prescribed rules in terms of design, dimensions, weight and materials. This year the design theme of the boats was set at ‘Red Indian’ canoes, which brought forth some ‘new ideas’ on how the American Indian designed his craft!



The judges this year were:

  • Retselisitsoe Maliehe – President of the Concrete Society
  • Marius Grassman – Concrete Testing Equipment
  • Andre Jooste – Royal HaskoningDHV
  • George Evans – PPC Cement


The construction of the boats was carried out to this very strict criteria, the most important of which was that they must float! The boats had to be made from a freely available, commonly-used cement, mortar or concrete. Lightweight aggregate could be used, and the binding agent had to be predominantly cementitious in composition.

Limited quantities of other materials were allowed, provided that they did not replace the binding action of the cement. The strength and stiffness of the boat had to be entirely due to the cementing action between hardened concrete or mortar and its reinforcement. Non-concrete parts were not allowed to contribute to the strength or structural integrity of the boat and could be removed at the judges' discretion.
The prize winners in the construction category were as follows:




Boat name

Academic Institution



Die Wit Olifant

University of Pretoria



Aquatic Engineers

University of Johannesburg



Le Marlin Noir

University of Johannesburg



Winning Team and Boat – Construction Category
Runner-Up Team and Boat – Construction Category
 3rd Place Team and Boat – Construction Category

Once the judging was over, the racing began, facilitated by Johan van Wyk, Vice Chairman of the Inland Branch and MC for the day, who ably steered the various heats to reach the stage where 3 'final' races decided the winners in the Student, Industry and Ladies categories. The racing was very competitive, and different shapes and buoyancies of the boats soon sorted fast-moving craft from the slow. Races took the form of relays where a 4-person relay team paddled 4 legs across a pre-determined course on the lake. Whether it was the change of design, or some other technical reason, is not yet known, but there was a huge increase in the number of craft that capsized this year, much to the consternation of the paddlers, who often fought bravely to up-turn their boats in the middle of the lake.

The racing concluded with an ‘Anything that Floats’ open race, and the paddles were ‘flying’.

After all the heats and the finals had been held, the winners in each category were as follows:   

Student Race Boat Name Academic Institution
1st Die Wit Olifant University of Pretoria
2nd Lakota University of Pretoria
3rd Hayaku University of Johannesburg
Industry Race Boat Name Organisation
1st Matla Ash Ash Resources (Pty) Ltd
2nd Poseidon BASF/Go Consult
3rd Pride Watercraft BASF
Ladies Race Boat Name Organisation
1st Lakota University of Pretoria
2nd Red Dragon Chryso-abe
3rd Amazing Racer AfriSam
‘Anything that Floats’ Race Boat Name Organisation
1st Hydrobath University of Johannesburg
2nd Le Marlin Noir SAICE
3rd Aquatic Engineers AfriSam
Quickest Sinker Boat Name Organisation
17 seconds Storm Rider AECOM

Monetary prizes for the top 3 students' construction projects, and the students’ race were donated by PPC Cement, and presented to the winners by Zelna Klaaste from PPC.

A special award, also donated by PPC, was presented to Deon Kruger from the University of Johannesburg for being the lecturer that registered the greatest number of students and boats. Medals were awarded to the first three teams in the other boat race categories.

Winners IndustryWinners Industry    Runners Up IndustryRunners Up Industry    Third Place IndustryThird Place Industry
 Winner LadiesWinner Ladies    Runners Up LadiesRunners Up Ladies    Third Place LadiesThird Place Ladies
 Winner StudentsWinner Students    Runners Up StudentsRunners Up Students    Third Place StudentsThird Place Students
 Winners Anything that FloatsWinners Anything that Floats    Runners Up Anything that FloatsRunners Up Anything that Floats    Third Place Anything that FloatsThird Place Anything that Floats
Lecturer prize presented to Deon Kruger UJLecturer prize presented to Deon Kruger UJ     Quickest SinkersQuickest Sinkers    Most enthusiastic teamMost enthusiastic team
Judge George Evans gives students some adviceJudge George Evans gives students some advice     President of the Concrete Society addresses the crowdPresident of the Concrete Society addresses the crowd    MC Johan van WykMC Johan van Wyk


The Inland Branch of the Concrete Society would like to thank all the Sponsors for their generous contribution to, and continuing support of, the Annual Concrete Boat Race Day!  View the list of Event Sponsors

Thanks also to the Benoni Sailing Club for the use of their facilities; National Paramedics for their usual excellent support on the day; ASM Safety Consultants, Easterns Life Savers; Francois Bain and his Diving team and John Sheath for the photographs.

 Boat Race 2015 Event - Photo Gallery
(Click on images to enlarge)






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