Silver medallist James Marburg moves on to new sport of surfboat rowing

OLD HABITS die hard, and although retired from the professional rowing ranks, Olympic silver medallist James Marburg still spends plenty of quality time on the water – now in the sport of surfboat rowing.

Marburg races for Lorne in the NAVY Australian Surf Rowers League, and this Sunday will head down to Jan Juc to contest the fourth round of the Victorian arm of the 2013-2014 series.

“Surfboat rowing is really quite a big movement in Victoria these days,” Marburg said.

“It’s been a great change for me, to know that the 15 years I spent as a rower haven’t been for nothing, and that I can use that skill set to go into something that is much more exciting in many respects.

“You never want to say never on your rowing career and surfboat rowing is a great outlet for me and something that’s handy to keep me in the game a little bit.

“There are about 50 competing clubs in the state and I’d think that most of them will be at Jan Juc this weekend.”

Surfboat rowing is much more exposed to the elements than the flat water version, and much shorter given that competitors generally compete over 400-metre courses.

At the height of his powers Marburg was one of Australia’s best rowers, claiming a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men’s four event.

Lorne is one of several high quality outfits jostling for the right to represent Victoria at the national championships later in the year, and Marburg is quietly confident about its chances heading into the business end of the surfboat season.