The George Bass Surfboat marathon is already shaping up to be one of the biggest in the event's 44-year history.
Far South Coast Lifesaving Branch administration officer Sue Hunt said there were already 26 surfboat crews and 17 individual surf skiers signed up with early-bird entries closing on Monday.
Ms Hunt said there had been a mad dash of entries on Sunday into Monday with regular entries still open until October 31 - but the inclusion list was already the biggest yet, outstripping the 2017-18 event.
Almost every state in the country is represented with a women's crew from New Zealand also making the trip to contest the world's longest and toughest surfboat marathon over the New Year period.
"The Murawai Meercats are coming over from New Zealand and the kiwi squads have traditionally been quite strong," Ms Hunt said.
"They're a bit of an unknown quantity as we haven't seen them over here."
The response from surf clubs has been exceptional and Ms Hunt said the George Bass was an event run "by clubbies, for clubbies".
The Open Women's and Open Men's are the two main categories to watch, Ms Hunt says as the strongest fields in the hunt.
The reining champions will be back to contest their crowns including the Open Men's squad from Bulli and the Open women's outfit from Cronulla.
The Darwin Open ladies outfit had a debut run in 2017/18, but Ms Hunt said they had 'caught the bug' and would be coming back for another run.
Another Queensland club in Yeppoon will be bringing a nine-strong contingent, but they'll take each other to task all entering as individual surf skiers.
"Two events ago the Yeppoon boys came down and rowed a boat, and now nine of the 'old boys' are coming down with the surf skis," Ms Hunt said.
She said there was a mental fortitude with being a George Bass rower the surpassed just the physical toll, but rowing for up to five hours a day could certainly be a mental toll as well.
"It takes a lot of tenacity," she said.
The format will be largely the same as previously starting in Batemans Bay and running across seven legs over seven days south to Eden.
"Normally it starts under the bridge, but because of the bridge work we've moved the start to Corrigan's Beach," Ms Hunt said.
"But it will follow the normal legs heading south with contingencies in place depending on the weather."
After 18 months of work already in place for the 2019/20 event, Ms Hunt said organisers were now hitting the accelerator and were looking to button up everything ahead of December.
Sponsors who might be able to help with fuel or support for the week can contact Ms Hunt on 0401 361 822.