Monday, July 20, 2015

Video Of The Week: FISA Interviews the Kiwi Pair in Lucerne

The Kiwi Pair celebrate Olympic gold in the London 2012 edition of ROWING Magazine

This week's video comes to us from the Rotsee in Lucerne, Switzerland, where the Kiwi Pair re-entered international competition in 2015 with yet another win, this time capping off the World Rowing Cup series for the year.



And, it was a very familiar story: The duo of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond won their heat by roughly nine seconds, and didn't look back through the rest of the regatta. The victory extended an unbeaten streak (including all heats and semifinals) that stretches back to 2009—and that streak forms part of the discussion in the video above.

Hats off to FISA for the informal, candid nature of the interview. "We were contrasting personalities," Bond says. "Still are contrasting personalities. I mean, he's big, brash...a bit of a dick, to be honest," he adds with a laugh. On a more serious note, it also touches on the (sort-of) rivalry between the Kiwi Pair and the British combination of Pete Reed and Andy Triggs-Hodge: "I remember the very first [international] race we did—it was Munich, in 2009 at the World Cup," Murray says. "It's real vivid, because, we'd been training together in New Zealand, and we were going pretty well, you know, doing good times on the clock; we knew Pete and Andy from the four, and they were the best athletes in the best program, so turning up going wow, we're going to race these guys—it was a little bit intimidating."



Another interesting note comes from the challenges they faced at the 2010 world championships—the closest race to date for the Kiwis. "The one thing that we'd never really done was sort of experiment with setup—we had a setup, and we just rowed it," Murray says. "[It] felt good, [so] we did it. And then we thought, why don't we change things around? We just went to the extreme and then brought it back a little bit."

[Watch Bond and Murray Take Down Two More World Records]

I've been lucky enough to interview the duo several times over the last few years on behalf of ROWING Magazine, and I've certainly not been alone in chronicling the success of New Zealand's fastest crew. They've got nearly 30,000 Facebook followers at time of writing, and have been featured in countless articles at home and abroad. Understandably so.



Still, they're keeping it in perspective. In the words of Murray: "We do have respect for every single person that turns up on the start line, because we know that they are there to race, and we know that they're there because they want to win, otherwise they wouldn't be there doing it—it's the day that don't respect your opposition is the day that you probably get beaten."

To quote an old ROWING Magazine tagline, "Can anyone catch the Kiwi Pair?"

-Bryan

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