Dragon Boat

What is actually dragon boat? Dragon boat also categorized as the team sport. A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together toward a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which is usually to win. Team members set goals, make decisions, communicate, manage conflict and solve problem in a supportive, trusting atmosphere in order to accomplish their objectives.  A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft traditionally made in the Pearl River delta region of China southern Guangdong Province out of teak wood designs and sizes.

Dragonboats are the basic of the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing an amateur water sport which has its roots in an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers held over the past 2000 years throughout southern China. Similar to outrigger canoe racing but unlike competitive rowing and canoe racing,dragon boating has a rich fabric of ancient ceremonial, ritualistic and religious traditions. Dragon boat racing as the basic for annual water ritual and festival celebration, and for the traditional veneration of the Asian dragon water deity, has been  practiced continuously since the period.  Dragon boat racing activity historically was situated in the Chinese subcontinent’s southern-central “rice bowl”: where there were rice paddies, so were there dragon boats. dragon boating is mostly celebrated in china

Dragon boat racing traditionally coincides with the 5th day of the 5th Chinese lunar month. . The Summer Solstice occurs around 21 June and is the reason why Chinese refer to their festival as “Duan Wu” or “Duen Ng”. Both the sun and the dragon are considered to be male.The sun and the dragon are at their most potent during this time of the year, so cause for observing this through ritual celebrations such as dragon boat racing. It is also the time of farming year when rice seedlings must be transplanted in their paddy fields, for wet rice cultivation to take place. Wu or Ng refers to the sun at its highest position in the sky during the day, the meridian of ‘high noon’. Duan or Duen refers to upright or directly overhead. So Duan Wu is an ancient reference to the maximum position of the sun in the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year or summer solstice.

Crew

The standard crew complement of a contemporary dragon boat is typically 22, comprising 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 sweep at the rear of the boat. Dragon boats however vary in length and the crew size will change accordingly, from small dragon boats with 10 paddlers up to the traditional boats which have upwards of 50 paddlers, plus drummer and sweep. In the area around the Tian He District of Guangzhou, Guangdong,China, the paddlers will increase to 80 or more.

 Drummer

The pulsation of the drum beats produced by the drummer may be considered the “heartbeat” of the dragon boat. The drummer leads the paddlers throughout a race using the rhythmic drum beat to indicate the frequency and synchronicity of all the paddlers’ strokes  The drummer’s role is both tactical and ceremonial, unlike that of a coxswain of a rowing shell such as an ‘eight’. Whereas paddlers face forward and the drummer backwards, it is reversed in rowing shells where all the rowers face backwards with the coxswain the only one in the boat facing forward and able to view the straight ahead course of the craft as it makes its way down the regatta course lane towards the finish line.

Traditional dragonboats with 40 to 50 paddlers are so long that the drum is positioned amidships  so that all paddlers can hear it amidst the noise of heated competition. However, for the smaller dragon boats of 20 paddlers which are most often used in competitive sporting events, the drum is located just aft of the dragon headed prow.

Some crews may also feature a gong striker who strikes a ceremonial gong mounted aboard the dragon boat. A gong striker may sometimes be used as an alternative to a drummer.

Paddlers

The paddlers sit facing forwards and use a specific type of paddle  is not rigged to the racing watercraft in any way. Therefore, Dragon boaters are paddlers not rowers or oarsmen/women. They paddle in a general canoe style since canoes dragon boats, proa’s and rafts are all distinctly differing paddle craft all paddled similarly variations exist due to the size and seating position in the boat  for the person in charge of the boat.

Sweep/steersman

The sweep, known also as the steersman controls the dragon boat with a sweep oar rigged at the rear of the boat, generally on the side and off centre, which is used both for ruddering as well as for sweeping the stern sidewards.

That all guys, till we meet again for the next post..seen you soon..bubye 🙂

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