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

Learn more about the possibilities of CoWorking in Quesnel at April 23 meeting

Community Futures North Cariboo has started a CoWorking Takeover Challenge

Letter: Concerned about options considered for caribou recovery

“The exploding wolf population is the cause of the depleting caribou and moose herds,” writes Frank Dorsey

Forestry Ink: Eight companies control 50 per cent of B.C.’s public forest tenures

Columnist Jim Hilton looks at the apportionment of timber rights and Annual Allowable Cut

‘My life was saved at an OPS site’

CSUN raises awareness about Overdose Prevention Services sites on National Day of Action in Quesnel

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Building a better learning environment for B.C. students

Minister’s message for Education Week, April 23-27

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Most Read