Take the photo above: here you see the two bits of string classical method, which together with the hat and gold bars suggests a pro. The boat was also nicely mid-stream unlike many who cut a few cm off the track by heading into the shallows thereby loosing several knots of current (felt like yelling out at times but of course didn't)
Anyhow next up there's use of a steering oar (I am being a bit random with terminology: it has been a long day and happy to be corrected) as in this one:
What interested me here was the Cornish lass at the front reading - what could the book be? Was she reading aloud to her crew? Any answers welcome.
Then the oar could be to one side as in this Viking ship:
You might have noticed that here the height of the oar meant it had to be controlled standing up, and there were many of those than steered upright. Not only were most the dragon boats helmed in that manner but also this rather sporty number:
Though I'm guessing that for the workers at the oars there must be quite a lot still aching a bit.