Entries for the annual Rutherglen Regatta are down around 20 per cent on last year's record figure.
The bushfire crisis has prevented many from returning to the event in 2020, with no interstate teams able to commit.
Despite the forced drop in numbers, event organiser Paul Somerville is expecting another big weekend.
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"Last year was a record field, but it's still very healthy on historical records. Last year we were about 1130 entries and we're at about 830 entries this year," he said.
"There's some slight alterations to the program and because of the fire risk most of the boats will come to the course on Saturday."
Racing starts at 10am.
The highlight of the regatta will be open races for the Victorian Sprint Championships on Sunday.