Marburg hits the surf

Olympic rowing silver medallist James Marburg launches a new sporting career tomorrow.

Having retired from rowing, the Ballarat oarsman debuts in a surf boat.

He will represent Jan Juc at the NAVY Australian Surf Rowers League in Torquay.

“I’m a little bit nervous as I’ve never done it before, but I think that’s natural with anything new,” Marburg said.

“It’s harder to prepare for the surf, because you don’t know what it will throw up.”

Marburg announced his retirement from flatwater rowing in an interview with The Courier earlier this month. The three-time Olympian will race in a boat of four over 800 metres.

Marburg said the crew’s goal in tomorrow’s event was to stay in touch with the Lorne boat. 

“Lorne is the form for Victorian crews, so if we keep up with them, we’ll be doing well.

“And those guys will be up there,” he said.

Marburg’s crew aims to be racing at national events in the coming year. 

“It’s almost a contact sport – it’s totally different to flat water rowing.

“You can get knocked about by the waves and it really takes it out of you,” Marburg said.

“In flat water you had everything within your control – how you’re feeling at different points in the race even, but the ocean can change at any moment.” 

Marburg decided to become involved in surf boat racing after having a discussion with friends about what he was going to do after London. 

“I knew that I’d want to keep training to keep fit,” he said.

“Surf boat racing uses a similar set of skills and was a great way for me to do that. And I get to hang out on the beach every weekend and spend time with great mates.”

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