HIS sporting comrades call him Lake Macquarie Rowing Club's "old hand".
At 72, Valentine's Bruce Sharp is one of the rowing club's oldest members, yet he shows no signs of slowing down.
Sharp started surf boat racing in the 1960s with Nobbys Surf Life Saving Club.
The Waratah junior footballer had attained his bronze medallion in surf lifesaving and was looking for a challenge.
Sharp said it was the "tough but fair" coach he had at the time that moulded him into the disciplined rower he is today.
Waking up at 5am six days a week is no easy task, but Sharp has been doing it since he joined the Lake Macquarie Rowing Club in 2000.
It was a move from Newcastle to Lake Macquarie that saw Sharp switch from the surf boat to traditional, two-oared rowing.
The rowing club's young charges taught Sharp to navigate the lake's smooth waters when all he knew was how to master the surf's unpredictable elements.
Today, Sharp is as committed as ever.
Last month he capped off a successful competitive rowing season with two major competitions.
The Australian Masters Championships, held in Adelaide at the start of May, saw Sharp collect gold in the singles, mixed four and g-double (over-65s) divisions.
He also took home a bronze medal in the f-double over-60s race.
Two weeks later he battled it out on the Sydney International Rowing Circuit to stake his claim at the NSW Masters Championships.
There he won gold in the singles, mixed double, g-double, f-double and e-quad divisions.