How to become a BRCC Certified Steers Person


1. Safety and Consistency:

A BRCC certified steersperson is responsible for the safety of the dragon boat, crew, equipment, and for enforcing the BRCC Operating Rules. The steersperson directs the operation of the dragon boat and is responsible for dock safety and security. Steersperson candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the BRCC Operating Rules and pass the on the water proficiency test to be fully certified.

2. Knowledge of the Berkeley Marina and BRCC boats & Safety Procedures:

A BRCC certified steersperson needs to show evidence of “on the water” steering skills as well as good decision making and communication skills while steering and navigating the waters in the Berkeley Marina.

Steps to Become a BRCC Certified Steersperson

1. Take the Dragon Boat Steers Test online

All potential Steers must take and pass the online Dragon Boat Steers Test.

2. Steer at practices under guidance of Lead Steers, a group of veteran steers people determined by BRCC

In most cases steers-in-training practice on the water steering for a minimum of 40+* hours under the guidance of available certified steers who are responsible for the steers-in-training.
The current Lead Steers are Donald Wu, Lawrence Pang, Judy Lee, Al Yeh, and Gary Young. When Lead Steers have observed the on water training of a steers–in-training for several hours of practice, they will recommend to the group of Lead Steers that a steers-in-training is ready to be assessed for certification. Practice includes steering in a variety of weather and light conditions, as well as on different boats.

*Exception to this requirement would be experienced steers coming from other teams who will not be required to log the 40+ )hours.

3. Be able to show competence in a range of steering maneuvers and decisions in the dragon boat

As one becomes more skilled in steering and logs time steering at practice – Lead Steers (those able to certify) will ask you to show competency in various maneuvers in and around the marina.

Here is a description of some of the things that you will need to be able to do:

Steers in Training should show competency of or ability to:

  • Take control of the boat as paddlers load and, until you relinquish the boat to the coach or captain for practice – check in, count off, check for safety box, all paddler have PFD’s on or near them, any non swimmers, and person(s) with a phone with the Berkeley Emergency phone number.
  • Communicate well with paddlers and be in command of the boat – use clear and concise commands to your crew during your time out on the water and project your voice as well as ensure your commands are heard/relayed to the front of the boat.
  • Steer safely in the Berkeley Marina as evidenced by avoiding contact with other boats, rocks, bridge or dock supports.
  • Keep the boat stable and be able to steer the boat without any drastic tilling or off-balance motions.
  • Show that you can control the boat going backwards, be aware of the risk of breaking the oar or losing balance if the oar gets caught.
  • Spend time on water including steering during some windy practices, which can serve as a replacement for a windy steering test.
  • Steer the boat wide enough so you can see around blind corners and be ready to stop the boat at any time in an emergency.
  • Observe the right of way of other boats and steer in an obvious path so the direction you’re heading is predictable.
  • Show that you can use paddlers in your boat to help execute a turn or maneuver the boat.
  • Stay within the boundaries of the Berkeley Marina and not go outside unless you have an open water certified steersperson on board.
  • Show that you can line up the boat to simulate a race out by the breakwater & Hornblower and also maintain an equal distance away from other boats involved in practice race pieces.
  • Conduct a paddler side switch out on the open water with at least one row of paddlers.
  • Do a 3 point U-turn in one of the narrow channels as well be able to maneuver (back out & park) a boat in the M Dock area near the bathrooms
  • Dock the boat into an empty dock and momentarily park the boat.