LAKE Wendouree will play host to the 2014 Australian Canoe Marathon Championships this weekend.
More than 200 paddlers from across the country as well as several international competitors will converge on Ballarat on Saturday and Sunday.
It will be the first time the city has hosted the event that traditionally revolves from state to state each year.
Ballarat Regional Tourism and the Ballarat Amateur Canoe Club were two of several organisations pushing for this year's hosting rights after Lake Wendouree successfully hosted the Victorian Masters Championships last year.
The national championships will feature about 250 competitors of all ages competing across courses ranging from six to 32 kilometres long.
BACC president Graeme Bowes believes Lake Wendouree is the perfect location for such an event and hopes that the high standard of competition displayed will help renew interest in the sport.
"It's the first time that an event like this, of this calibre, has been held in Ballarat," Bowes said.
"It's a magnificent piece of water here – we're fortunate enough to have to competition courses mapped out to suit the conditions.
"The (interest in) canoeing has built up since the lake refilled but we still have more recreation paddlers than we do competitive paddlers and we need more people to compete."