Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond (North End) is keen to
retain his unbeaten record in the premier pairs at Lake
Ruataniwha this week.
Bond (27) and Jade Uru are poised to win their fifth
consecutive New Zealand coxless pairs title together.
The task will be made easier because Bond's Olympic partner,
Eric Murray, is not contesting the pair this week. He is
competing only in the four and the eight.
Bond planned to race only in the pair this week but has been
added to the Southern Regional Performance Centre's premier
coxless four and eight. He replaces his younger brother,
Alistair, who has glandular fever.
Bond is certain to gain his 15th red coat in the pair and has
a starter's chance in the Southern RPC four and eight. He
still has a long way to go to catch up with Waikato oarsman
Chris White, who won 38 red coats in the 1980s and 1990s.
''Our plan was to carry on training in the pair together
while we were at Twizel,'' Bond said.
''We are conscious that we don't have a lot of time to
prepare for the World Cup in Sydney on March 25.''
Bond and Murray had a long rest after winning their Olympic
gold medal at the London Olympics.
They returned to the water in late December and have trained
together in the pair since the middle of January. It was not
easy getting back into the training routine.
''It has been difficult some days. Our hands have been sore
and there are a lot of little specific muscles that had
''The fitness felt OK but the muscles of the body were not
there to do what we wanted. Some of our muscles were sore.''
Bond and Murray are getting back into the groove and some of
the training speeds have been faster than expected.
Tonks coached the pair to the London Olympics but he is now
in charge of the women's programme. Bond and Murray have
followed their own programme since they returned to the
''Rowing New Zealand has yet to appoint another coach to look
after the men's sweep oar programme,'' Bond said.
''Dick trained us really hard but it might be time for a
fresh outlook. Rowing New Zealand will make those decisions
over the next few weeks.''
Bond is just focusing on this year and is not targeting the
Rio de Janeiro Olympics at the moment.