A view from the stern

Every command designed to move the boat forward with dragon boating

The steersperson is a very important member of the dragon boat crew because without him/her, the boat won’t leave the dock.

In a canoe, a paddler can change the stroke to make the boat head in different directions but in a dragon boat, the stroke is purely for powering the boat forward.

Since a dragon boat is about 10 metres long, paddlers have little influence on direction. Thus, there is a need for a steersperson.

A dragon boat is steered with a sweep oar rigged at the rear of the boat, generally on the left side.

It acts like a rudder but looks like it belongs in a giant’s row boat.

With that oar, the steersperson can manoeuver the boat around a lake, straight down the race course or gently to the dock.

The blade exerts pressure on the water so if it is pulled away from the boat, the bow will go to the left and when pushed towards the boat, the bow will veer right.

The language of the boat includes commands that will aid a steersperson.

When leaving the dock, “back us down” calls for all to paddle backwards.

“Hold the boat” means to put paddles vertically in the water to prevent drift.

And “draw” requests one side to pull water towards the boat to help it side slip in that direction.

These words seem foreign to a new paddler but with practice, they do make

sense.

At any time, the steersperson can override the drummer’s control to ensure safety.

Since the dragon boat has a low profile, boat or wind driven waves easily slosh over the gunnel.  That means we may need to quickly steer the boat so as to meet larger waves head on. But, even more power rests with this person because he or she is the one to decide if lake conditions are safe for paddling.

Like with the drummer, choppy water can cause a sense of instability but none of our steers people has been lost overboard. If you are interested, we’ll teach you how to paddle or steer. Recreational paddling happens every Wednesday until the end of September.  What a great way to spend a beautiful evening on the lake.

– submitted by

Liz-Anne Eyford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First Nation community signs enforcement agreement with Conservation Officer Service

This is the fourth such agreement in the Cariboo Chilcotin

CITY HALL: Slow and steady return to “normal”

City council news from Mayor Bob Simpson

Interlakes builds drive-in movie theatre

‘It looks like it could be a golf course now, really, it’s beautiful’

Letter: Consequences

Bert de Vink of Quesnel considers the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Connor McDavid on NHL format: ‘Not perfect, but it’s the best we got’

Connor McDavid on NHL format: ‘Not perfect, but it’s the best we got’

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read