HE HAS been rowing since only 2010 but 15-year-old Max Duignan proved he's one to watch after becoming the under-17 NSW rowing champion at the the weekend.
The former under-16 champion came first in his single scull race, and third in his double scull race with rowing partner Hamish Cullen.
Now the Penrith High teen is looking forward to the Australian National Rowing Championships, not only because it's the next big step in his rowing career but also because it will be during the first Sydney International Rowing Regatta and World Rowing Cup.
"The fact that I get to compete at nationals for the first time when the world cup will be held for the first time in the southern hemisphere is a great feeling," Max, who will represent the Penrith Rowing Club, said.
It will be a monumental year for rowing in Australia and the significance of the cup being held in Penrith is not lost on the Mount Riverview teen.
"This will be the biggest event I have competed in by far," Max said.
He says Penrith is a great location for the regatta and world cup.
"I like Penrith; it's a great place and has beautiful rowing complexes," he said.
Max trains every day on the water or in the gym and has been inspired by the elite international rowers who he can now say he has trained beside.
"Getting to row next to the international crews on the Nepean River while they are training is pretty cool," Max said.
"When they are rowing soft I row as hard as I can to see if I can keep up with them or go faster than them."
Coach Ray Green, who was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to sport, has been training Max since 2010.
"My coach has been very supportive and has hopeful and high expectations of me," Max said.
The nationals are top priority but Max has Olympic dreams.
"I would certainly love to represent Australia".
See a video interview with Max on penrithstar.com.au. Max will also be interviewed on TVS, Channel 44, 6.30, next Friday evening.