Who’s Who in the Boat?
There are 18-20 paddlers at any given time. Paddlers are responsible for keeping quiet and focused in the boat. Paddlers are expected to listen carefully and follow instructions quickly.
The Drummer & Sweep – The Dragon’s Head & Tail
At regattas, the Drummer & Sweep work together as a team – they often have a signal system which they communicate front to back.
Drummers provide support to the sweep and the paddlers. They must understand the race plan, work with the crews to follow it and sets the tone for the entire boat.
At the start line, the drummer keeps the team focused, relaxed and their heads in the boat during what can often be a chaotic moment of lining up multiple boats.
Drummers work with the paddlers to keep the rhythm and timing, change pace as required throughout the race – ie, start, transition to race pace, lift and take it home.
The drummer will work with the sweeps to help line the boat up on the start line.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Dragon Boating, click on this link: https://www.localiiz.com/post/culture-history-traditions-story-behind-dragon-boat-festival-hong-kong
The sweep stands at the back of the boat with the steering oar and must be DBNSW accredited. The Sweep sets the path of the boat and is responsible for its safe operation. Ultimately, they are in charge and call the commands.
More information can be found at The Australian Dragonboat Federation: https://www.ausdbf.com.au/home/