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

Just Posted

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

B.C Biathlon event to be held in Quesnel this weekend

Cariboo Ski Touring club expecting athletes from across B.C.

Debate over waterslide ommission from a CRD federal grant request

Waterslide would add $2.5 million to proposed Quesnel Rec Centre upgrade

Cheng² Duo to perform in Quesnel next week

The siblings have performed all over the world

City of Quesnel’s online budget survey is open until Jan. 30

Residents are being asked to provide input into 2019 budget

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Man, 31, charged in Cache Creek fatal shooting

Corey Richard Harkness appeared on one count of murder in provincial court in Kamloops

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read