Before You Paddle

Acquaint yourself with the safety policies and guidelines.

Acquaint yourself with the make-up of a Dragon Boat Crew.

Each paddler is required to complete an annual swim test before they paddle or they will be required to wear a PFD (life jacket).

You must wear shoes on the boat.

Please don't wear perfume, some people can be sensitive to perfume, particularly during exertion.

Prior To Loading The Boat

Before loading the boat the coach and/or sweep will allocate your paddling position. This is called ‘making the boat’ or ‘building the boat’.

Loading The Boat From Shore

Row 1 will sit on the front of the boat to stabilise it.

 

The crew enters the boat from the front left and moves through to the back. The sweep enters first, followed by those in rows 10, 9 etc. On entering the boat move up the centre of the boat crouching down to minimize rocking. As the first person on your row, sit in the centre of the seat until your paddling buddy is beside you, then slide to your allotted side and put your paddle flat on the water. This helps to stabilize the boat until all paddlers are aboard. The last to enter the boat are the strokes (row 1) and the drummer/coach.

Loading The Boat From A Pontoon

The sweep will board first and will instruct the rest of the boat to load. Row 1 will load next, then row 10, row 2, row 9, row 3, row 8 etc until the boat is filled. As the first person on your row, sit in the centre of the seat until your paddling buddy is beside you, then slide to your allotted side and put your paddle flat on the water. This helps to stabilize the boat until all paddlers are aboard. Row 1 may stop rows embarking to push the boat further into the water.

After Loading The Boat

When all paddlers are aboard the sweep will ask you to ‘number off’ before leaving the shore, this is so the crew knows how many are on board. The sweep will tell you who your buddy is (it will always be the person next to you, but it also might be the single paddler, sweep, drummer or coach depending on your seating position) In the event of a capsize you should find your buddy, stay with your buddy and stay with the boat (it will not sink) and wait for instructions from the sweep. he drummer/coach. In the event the sweep falls overboard the back two rows may need to assist the sweep to re-enter the boat. One may also need to take control of the boat if there is not another sweep on board or until the sweep re-enters the boat.

Paddling The Boat

Unloading The Boat On Shore

Row 1 will disembark first and sit on the front of the boat to stabilise it. Row 2 will then disembark, followed by subsequent rows and lastly the sweep. Row 1 may stop rows disembarking to pull the boat further on shore.

Unloading The Boat On A Pontoon

​The sweep will nominate rows to disembark.