NZL North Island Champs, M1x, Eric Murray beating Mahe Drysdale 150112
In rough water conditions of inconsistent winds and subsequent slow race times, Drysdale and Murray were the only two boats to compete, turning the race into a head-to-head style showdown. At the line Murray finished less than half a second ahead of Drysdale in a time of 7:33.40.

Murray, 29, along with rowing partner Hamish Bond is the three-time consecutive World Champion in the pair and is currently training to compete in the London Olympics. Last month he set a world record on the Dynamic Indoor Rower over one hour. Murray covered a distance of 18,728m to set the record which equates to an average split of 1min 36 sec per 500m.

Last year Murray and Bond became the World Rowing Male Crew of the Year and the duo are currently in line for the New Zealand sports award, the Halberg awards.

The North Island Championships, which featured 532 rowers from 29 clubs also featured other New Zealand World Champion rowers and members of the New Zealand national team. Current World Champions in the women’s pair, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown were first by six seconds in their race. Haigh and Scown also took gold in the women’s four. 

In the men’s pair, in the absence of Murray and Bond, Jade Uru and Ben Hammond who raced at the World Rowing Championships in the men’s four, finished first. But Uru and Hammond ended up second in the men’s four, finishing one second behind Sean O’Neill, Chris Harris, Adam Tripp and Tyson Williams.

Fiona Paterson and Anna Reymer were third in the women’s double sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships and the duo took first in the double over the weekend. Paterson then went on to win the women’s single sculls. Emma Twigg who was third in the single at the World Rowing Championships did not race at this regatta due to illness.

Eric Murray and Mahe Drysdale