Hawke's Bay's Jack Quirk is the first to admit he struggled with his spectator role at rowing regattas.
"I couldn't sit in the stand and watch ... I had to do something. I remember at one regatta when the call went out for a boat driver and I jumped at it," Quirk recalled.
That was almost 10 years ago, when he began watching daughter Ashlea, a then future national title winner, at various venues around the country. While Ashlea is finished with rowing and focused on her Hamilton-based swimming instructor work, Quirk, 63, is still involved and next month will create Hawke's Bay Rowing Club history when he becomes the first from the club to take on an international official role at the seven-day Australian nationals in Penrith.
"I'll have a variety of roles over the week including chief judge, chief umpire, chief starter and chief of compliance," Quirk explained.
He is one of two Kiwi officials who have been appointed to the regatta as part of the Australasian Officials Exchange, which was resurrected two years ago. Otago Rowing Association's Lauren Farnden is the other.
"It will be a great experience. The Penrith complex was built for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and is still a great venue," Quirk said.
An East Coast Rowing Association official and Hawke's Bay Rowing Club committee member, Quirk became a level-three judge three years ago. He pointed out he is one of 12 officials who run Lake Karapiro regattas and they are assisted by 60 volunteers.
Quirky, or Handee Jack, as he is also known - the later is the name of his own handyman business - ranked the 2017 World Masters Games at Lake Karapiro as the highlight of his career as an official.
All of Quirk's work is voluntary and he regularly does seven or eight regattas at Lake Karapiro during a summer. He will be at next week's national championships and will then have the North Island Secondary Schools regatta, a junior regatta and the New Zealand Masters champs before focusing on his Aussie assignment.
"It's pretty good when you consider I never did rowing in my younger days. I only got involved when Ashlea took it up in 2010," Quirk recalled.
Because he is over 55, Quirk can't progress from the Aussie nationals to World Cup or World Championship level.
"I should have done this earlier as you get so much satisfaction out of it," Quirk said.
"There is great comradeship with the other officials and you build a good rapport with the rowers. When you see novices getting better and progressing through the ranks it makes your job so rewarding," Quirk added.
Rowing New Zealand's manager Sonya Walker said her organisation was thrilled to have Quirk represent New Zealand in Australia.
"He is one of our top umpires and it's a well deserved selection."
Walker also clarified the age limit restriction which prevents Quirk from appointments higher than the Aussie nationals.
World Rowing Federation rules state officials for international regattas must not be older than 55. There is also a maximum age limit of 70 for officials at international level.
The national championships begin on Tuesday and continue until the following Saturday or Sunday if weather conditions cause delays during the week. Multiple world champions and Olympic rowers are among the 832 athletes entered from 47 clubs.
The Hawke's Bay club will be represented by 60 athletes. Long-serving club coach Ross Webb said several of the club's rowers have the potential to reach finals.
Among them are the men's pair and intermediate eight, the women's club coxless quad which finished second at the North Island championships, Madeline Parker in the women's club single, the novice boys four and the novice girls eight.
The regatta will include 81 events, with the largest number of entries, 38, in the men's club double sculls.