BALLARAT Olympic rower James Marburg will represent Victoria at the Navy Australian Open this week.
The Olympic silver medallist – who retired from flat-water rowing after the 2012 London Olympics – will race in the state representative Open Men crew Lorne Grizzlies in Australia’s biggest surf boat race event.
The national event, to be held in Newcastle, will draw more than 1500 competitors from Australia and New Zealand to make up 300 crews from 100 Surf Life Saving Clubs.
Marburg will travel to Newcastle on Thursday ahead of the three-day carnival that starts on Friday.
The 31-year-old said the state crew would be a dominant force at the first interstate hit-out for the year. “We are going pretty well. It will be the first time we’ve raced teams from up north, or interstate, who are traditionally stronger crews,” Marburg said.
“Surf clubs are much more intertwined with communities and have more people who actually live on the beach in the northern states.
“It’s just that real battle of getting into the final and then everyone is a chance – anything can happen.”
Marburg – a member of the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club – said he was not prepared to commit to flat-water rowing for another four years for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and took on surf boat competition to remain involved in rowing.