Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have formed one of the greatest combinations in rowing history. In fact, their five-year unbeaten streak from 2009-13, encompassing four world titles and an Olympic gold medal, bears comparison with the legends of any sport. Bond was born in Dunedin in 1986. He was attracted to rowing as a teenager and by the time he was 20, was a member of the national senior team. In 2007, Bond, Eric Murray, James Dallinger and Carl Meyer enjoyed a phenomenally successful season as a coxless four, winning seven out of eight major races. They broke the British coxless four’s sequence of 29 straight wins. At the 2007 world championships, in Munich, they were outstanding, winning the gold medal and setting themselves up as leading contenders for the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, things did not go well for the four in Beijing and they missed out on the final, eventually winning the B final to finish seventh overall. They were rather unlucky with their draw, however. In the semi-final, they were fourth (with only three to qualify) behind Britain, Australia and France, the same three crews that shared the medals in the final. Ironically, the New Zealanders’ time in winning the B final was faster than any crew achieved in the final proper. Before leaving Beijing, Bond was revealed as New Zealand’s 1000th Olympian. Entering the 2009 season, Bond and Murray teamed up in the coxless pair and they gelled immediately. They are hardly physical equals – Bond is 1.89m, Murray 1.96m. But out on the water they have proved untouchable, not just winning major races, but winning them in the grand manner, with seconds to spare. Their first big title was at the 2009 world championships in Poznan, Poland. They defended their world title on Lake Karapiro in 2010 in front of a passionate home crowd. Bond described racing in front of a home crowd as a “once in a lifetime experience”. Into 2011, with the eyes of the rowing world upon them, Bond and Murray continued their unbeaten streak, winning gold at the 2011 world championships in Bled, Slovenia, by the best part of two seconds.