Murray and Bond looking for success apart at BankLink new Zealand Rowing Championships
Together they have been invincible in the men’s pair on the international rowing scene for three years, but world champions Hamish Bond and Eric Murray will square off against each other when they race for their regions at the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championship at Lake Karapiro this week.
It is the Southern RPC (Regional Performance Centre) four time world champion Bond who reigns supreme in the pair on home water, going for his fourth straight title and third with fellow NZ team athlete Jade Uru. Bond is unbeaten in both the pair and the straight four since 2007 and can be expected to add to his huge list of national titles in any one of the boats he rows in.
For Waikato RPC’s Murray, wins have been something of a rarity at the national championships. This year, he is paired with former Aon Maadi Cup winner and New Zealand men’s eight rower Tyson Williams and he is keen to snatch the title from Bond, especially as training sessions in the temporary combination have gone well.
Murray is in stellar form at the moment, having smashed the world record for one hour on the benchmark Concept 2 rowing machine and inflicted a rare defeat over Mahe Drysdale in the single scull at the recent North Island Championships. Murray will try take the national title in the single this week but faces a very stern test.
The single sculling field is a Who’s Who of New Zealand’s recent small boat world champions, with Drysdale, Nathan Cohen, Joseph Sullivan and Peter Taylor all hungry for success. Karsten Brodowski, one of Germany’s top rowers, is another intriguing entry in the top sculling event and has plenty of experience on the Karapiro course having spent recent weeks training alongside the Kiwi team.
All of the country’s current world champions and the vast majority of those in contention for places in the boats New Zealand has qualified for the London Olympics later this year are set to appear, with many in multiple events.
The championships cater for Under 19 and Under 21 rowers, Club level athletes, more experienced Seniors and the best of the best Premier class rowers. Beginners are also catered for however, with healthy entries in all of the Novice boat categories for rowers with limited experience in the sport.
Action begins at Lake Karapiro tomorrow (Tuesday) with heats in both the men’s pairs and men’s singles to whet the appetite for the finals later in the week.
Details here: http://www.rowingnz.com/Events/CompetitionSummary.aspx?ID=395&CompetitionID=286