Students piled into four-man canoes in the John W. Hart pool to do battle against one another in a miniaturized naval warfare scenario.
The pool turned into a theater of war as students tried to sink opposing canoes while defending against oncoming waves of water.
Armed with buckets, bowls, Tperware lids, and even baking sheets, competitors splashed and flailed in order to gain an per hand in the pool.
According to the BYU-I sport event website (www.byui.edu/activities/sports/sports-events), teams must have at least one member of each gender to avoid forfeit.
A maximum of four players were allowed in each boat, with two from each gender. A total of six players were allowed on the roster.
Students took advantage of the gender requirements.
“Our strategy was to have the girls in the middle and the guys on the ends,” said Cory Jiles, a senior studying exercise physiology.
By having the girls in the middle, the weight was evenly distributed throughout the canoe.
Jiles said this was not the only reason for having that gender arrangement.
“By having the guys on the ends, they were able to attack the other canoes while the girls were defending our own boat,” Jiles said.
Competitors were not allowed to bail water out of the canoe, which caused issues for many of the teams.
“Balancing while your boat fills with water was very difficult,” Jiles said.
Balance was a problem that plagued teams during the entire competition.
“The hardest part was balancing without sinking our own boat,” said Logan Wynder, a sophomore studying criminal justice.
Various strategies were used in order to maintain balance within the canoe.
“Our strategy was to make sure someone was in the middle balancing,” said Rachel Soderquist, a sophomore studying marriage and family studies.
If a team became off-balance and its canoe capsized, the team was immediately eliminated from the free-for-all competition
Some teams coordinated strategies in advance in order to gain an per hand in the competition.
“We trained for weeks as a team by throwing water at each other, and it actually paid off,” Wynder said.
Students said they enjoyed their experiences on the rough waters, even with water pouring into their boats.
“Canoe battleship was a great way to meet new people,” said Emily Hermann, a junior studying graphic design.
Hermann said she got an adrenaline rush while competing, and that she was glad to be involved in the battleship activity.
Spectators at the event said they also enjoyed the fierce competition held in the pool.
“The aggressiveness of the competitors was intense,” said Rodney Nelson, a freshman studying biology.
Nelson said he regretted not participating in the Canoe Battleship competition.
“I’m bummed out that I didn’t sign when I saw the flyers around campus,” Nelson said.