Every team has a leader or a captain. A Dragon boat team has twice the number of people than a football team. Who leads them during a fierce competition? Jennifer Hsiung spoke with one of the crews taking part in the Dragon Boat national team selection trials to find out just who takes charge.
Guan Lihong, sweep of Jiujiang School team, said,"I'm in charge of the boat's direction. It's my job to make sure the boat stays in a straight line and doesn't deviate from the course."
Guan Haihua, drummer of Jiujiang School team, said, "I'm the commander of the boat.I'm responsible for telling the sweep how to steer the boat."
But at each end of the boat, with 20 paddlers between them, how do the two communicate with one another in a race?
"I use words and hand gestures to communicate with the drummer. The two are combined for communication." Guan Lihong told us.
"The drummer and I need to look at each other during the race. My facial expressions keep him informed about the boat's directions." Guan Haihua said.
Guan Lihong, "If I tell him we need to speed up, he then beats the drum faster and louder;I ask him to slow down, and he will do that."
"If the paddlers' facial expressions tell me that they are very tired and can't catch their breath, I will slow down my beating so that everyone can slow down a bit and recuperate."