The Western Engineering Toboggan Team (WETT) is once again poised to compete at the annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR).
Every year, a team of over 100 Western students work to design and build a massive, fully functional 350-pound toboggan with concrete skis and compete for top prize against schools from across Canada, the US and Europe.
“Historically, we’ve done pretty well actually,” said fourth-year captain Adam Del Rosso. “In my four years previously on the team, we have placed 1st, 4th, one year we placed 14th, which wasn’t too great, but we placed first overall again last year.”
The toboggan has to seat five passengers and teams are scored on a combination of speed down the hill as well as team spirit.
Del Rosso, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, has been on the team since his first year. He joined after being exposed to the team during O-Week, and chose toboggan over the formula team because of its more accessible size.
Del Rosso wanted to make an early impact, so he joined one of the sub teams, and worked his way up from there.
“I put a lot of work in my first year so I was lucky enough to go to the competition and represent Western, and then I kind of never looked back from there,” said Del Rosso. “I pretty much fell in love with the club and got more and more involved every year that I’ve been a part of it.”
The team is split up into five sub-teams each with their own areas of responsibility integral to overall team success.
The superstructure team is in charge of designing the frame, steering and breaks. The construction team deals with the actual building of the toboggan while the concrete team is tasked with building the skis. There is the theme team, which is responsible for deciding on a team spirit theme for the competition and finally, the sponsorship team is responsible for procuring funding from various available avenues.
“I’d say in terms of dedicated team members, we’ve had 40-50 very dedicated members this year,” Del Rosso said.
The 30 top contributing students are selected by the executive committee to represent Western at this year’s competition held in Winnipeg on Feb. 8–12.
After taking home five total awards and first place overall last year; not to mention three top four finishes (including another 1st place in 2013) Del Rosso is confident that his team will perform well at the upcoming competition in Winnipeg in February.
“You never really know how you’ll perform until you’re at the competition and you see the quality of the competition,” said Del Rosso. “That being said, I believe the toboggan we are bringing this year is just as good if not better than the one we brought last year. I’m very confident in our ability to perform and do well.”
The team will put their sled to the test from Feb. 8—12 during the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan race in Winnipeg.