The world's longest and toughest surf boat marathon is just three days away, with organisers and crews bracing for tough conditions.
George Bass Surf Boat Marathon director Andrew Edmunds says the organising committee will be assessing the conditions day by day.
“As we've seen over the last week, with the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, conditions along the coast can be unforgiving,” Mr Edmunds said.
“The forecast for next week currently predicts large surf for the first three days, with surf varying from 2-3 metres, increasing to 4-6 metres on day-three of the event.
"At this stage it is looking pretty good from a wind perspective but the biggest concern will be large surf for the boats to leave and return to the beaches each day.
"We have a number of contingencies available, but we're hopeful they won't be needed and the race can progress along the usual course.
"As we have seen in the past however, conditions can force the race to be changed and can be extremely challenging for the participants.”
The marathon, in its 40th year, starts in Batemans Bay on Sunday, January 3, near the bridge. Eurobodalla Mayor Lindsay Brown and the Member for Bega Andrew Constance will open the event at 9am, and a welcome-to-country ceremony will be held.
The marathon is a seven-day championship event, covering 190 kilometres of coast from Batemans Bay to Eden. The longest leg is Bermagui to Tathra – a 36-kilometre row.
Mr Edmunds expects an exciting race.
"We have eight ski paddlers, including Ruth Burgess, of Bermagui, the sole female participant in that division." There are a number of crews competing from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
2016 George Bass Marathon entrants:
Long Reef (NSW)
Juniors – will row as part of open men race.
Pambula/Tathra combined Junior Crew (NSW)
Broulee Capitals (NSW)
Long Reef/Moruya (NSW)
Metropolitan Caloundra (QLD)
Wollongong City (NSW)
North Cronulla (NSW)
Ruth Burgess, Bermagui (NSW)
Andrew Stone, Pambula (NSW)
Stew O'Regan North Bondi (NSW)
Chris Ryan, Pambula (NSW)
Will Hardman, Bondi (NSW)
Craig Vipond, Maroochydore (QLD)
Ed Gwynne, Moruya (NSW)