SUTTONS BAY — Moving a concrete canoe competition from Houghton to Suttons Bay is not light work, but it had to be done because the portage channel into Lake Superior remains frozen.
Engineering students involved in the competition loaded up their nine canoes on Monday and drove to Leelanau County for races that will he held on Suttons Bay this morning and afternoon.
More than 100 engineering students from nine Michigan and Ohio universities are expected to participate in the race, either paddling or assisting in other ways, said Brad Johnson, co-captain of the Michigan Technological University team.
The canoes range in length from 18.5 feet to 22 feet in length and weigh between 150 and 350 pounds, Johnson said. Taylor Hohensheid, a 2010 Suttons Bay graduate, is a sophomore on the Michigan Tech team.
The race is part of an annual regional competition sponsored by the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Races are scheduled to be held today from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Suttons Bay, between the launch site at South Shore Park and the Inland Seas dock, weather permitting. The park is located at the foot of Beach Street.
Teams include engineering students from Detroit Mercy College, Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Ohio Northern, University of Michigan and the University of Toledo.
The winning team will compete in the 2013 National Concrete Canoe Competition scheduled June 20-22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill. The regional competition also included presentations and exhibits at Michigan Tech of canoes built by each team.