Bond, Lassche record stunning time at Karapiro
The combination of Hamish Bond and James Lassche recorded the second-fastest time in world rowing history in winning the premier men's pair final at the national rowing champs today.
Representing the Southern Regional Performance Centre (RPC), Bond and Lassche raced down the 2000m course at Lake Karapiro with a light tailwind to record a time of six minutes 12.42 seconds.
Bond holds the world's fastest time in combination with New Zealand crewmate Eric Murray of 6:08.50, set duriong the 2012 London Olympics regatta in Eton Dorney when they won gold.
At this year's nationals, where the athletes represent their clubs and RPCs, Bond teamed up with Lassche, a member of the NZ men's lightweight four that won silver at last year's world champs in South Korea.
Central RPC's Chris Harris and James Hunter chased the duo home in 6:20.72 with Waikato RPC's Alex Kennedy and Shaun Kirkham winning bronze in 6:24.52.
Lassche said he had "a rough idea when he [Bond] was yelling at me when we had a nice margin" that a notable time was in the offing.
"I could see going down the course - I had the speedo on and I knew we we going quick," Bond said.
Rebecca Scown and Louise Trappitt teamed up in the premier women's event to win gold for Central.
They headed home Auckland's Kayla Pratt and Kelsey Bevan by over three seconds in a winning time of 6:56.26, with Southern's Eve MacFarlane and Grace Prendergast third.
"I was looking forward to this race - I knew the other girls would give it a good nudge and everyone wants bragging rights," Scown said.
"I was up against Kayla, my usual pairs partner, so I couldn't let her get one up on me."
Scown was later joined by Ruby Tew, Holly Greenslade and Linda Matthews in winning the premier women's fours, ahead of Southern and Auckland.
The top Central premier men's coxless fours crew triumphed over their Waikato counterparts in a thrilling finish.
The combination of Chris Harris, Ian Seymour, Tufi Sele and James Hunter grabbed the title off a Waikato crew of Alex Kennedy, Shaun Kirkham, David Eade and Eric Murray, holding off a late surge from the defending champs to win by just over a second in 6:05.87 into a headwind.
Auckland's Peter Taylor took out the premier men's lightweight single scull title with a five-second margin over Bond's younger brother Alistair (Southern), who pipped Waikato's Adam Ling for silver.
It was Taylor's fourth consecutive win in that event, while Southern's Lucy Strack captured gold in the women's event for the fourth time in five years as she staved off challenges from Louise Ayling (Central) and Julia Edward (Waikato).
Brothers Robbie and Karl Mason teamed up to win their second premier men's title of the week, claiming gold in the double sculls after being part of the winning Central quad yesterday.
They staged an excellent late drive to push Mahe Drysdale and Michael Arms (Auckland) into second, with Southern's John Storey and Jade Uru third.
Drysdale has had to settle for silver in both of his finals to date and will be seeking his first gold tomorrow in the much-anticipated single scull final which will also feature Hamish Bond.
Fiona Bourke grabbed some revenge on NZ double sculls crewmate Zoe Stevenson in their premier final.
Bourke and Lucy Spoors grabbed gold for Southern by just under three seconds from Stevenson and Sarah Gray, who were part of the Waikato crew that won the women's quad title yesterday with Southern third.