The Oswego Dragon Festival:
The Oswego Dragon Festival is an event that celebrates Chinese culture and brings the community together to raise funding for the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign. The teams racing in the event come from the community of Oswego: local businesses, SUNY Oswego, and community teams. With races, vendors, music, a fun and competitive atmosphere, and activities for children, there is something here that the whole family can enjoy.
There is typically 22 people on a dragon boat during a race: one drummer, 20 paddlers, and one sweep or steerer.
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 pace of all the paddlers' strokes, slowing them down or speeding them up. The drummer may issue commands to the crew through a combination of hand signals and voice calls, and also generally exhorts the crew to perform at their peak. Good drummers should be able to match the drumming pace with the strokes of the leading pair of paddlers, rather than the other way around.
The paddlers sit facing forwards and use a paddle that is not attached to the racing watercraft in any way.
The leading pair of paddlers, called "pacers," "strokes" or "timers," set the pace for the team. It is critical that all paddlers are synchronized. Each paddler should synchronize with the stroke or pacer on the opposite side of the boat.
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.
Information thanks to Wikipedia.