They are number one and two on World Rowing’s list of Top 10 male rowers for 2014. Since 2009, they have not lost a single race in the men’s pair, bagging gold at all World Rowing Cups, at the World Rowing Championships and at the Olympic Games.

This year, the duo won two World Championship titles. In addition to winning the men’s pair, they also took the men’s coxed pair by storm. They now own World Best Times in both events.

For these reasons, Murray and Bond have become the recipients of the World Rowing Male Crew of the Year award once again - their third time.

To get to know this year’s World Rowing awardees a little better, World Rowing asked Murray and Bond a few questions.

Eric Murray

World Rowing: What factors have played a role in your success in 2014?
Eric Murray:A range of factors played a role. Making challenges to keep us motivated and “fresh” were the biggest ones. We also looked at how we were training and tried to find ways to make it enjoyable but keeping the fundamentals of “hard work”. We continued to look at how different training methods could make us fitter, stronger and faster with regards to our physiology.


WR: What did you want to be when you were ten years old?

EM: When I was ten, I think I wanted to milk cows for a living. I was doing triathlons and was an all-round good sports person so I knew I could maybe do some sort of sport but I just didn’t know what.


WR: Where are you keeping your World Rowing Award?
EM: It lies on my book shelf in my living room.

WR: What can we find in your refrigerator?
EM: Lots of food! There is a rather large range of food, good amounts of vegetables and lots of food for my toddler! There is always beer in my fridge too. It would be a sad day if there wasn’t…


WR: In a breaking news story about you, what would the title be?
EM: It would all depend on what’s happened. Did I do something bad or stupid that gets me in the media? Probably…

WR:  If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be, and why?
EM: President Obama. Probably because he is the most powerful person in the world and he’d probably have some great stories to tell. And he’d probably want to have a beer too, so that would go down well with me!

WR: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
EM: Obviously Superman. Superman can do anything.

WR: What type of person would you refuse to row with and why?
EM: Someone who has a bad attitude. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have an attitude to “do what it takes”, then you’re not worth rowing with. People with the attitude to push their limits and see how good they can be are the people that you know will row themselves into the ground when you’re training/racing with them.


WR: What is one of your most beneficial strengths and why?
EM: I'm an optimist, so I don’t get too stressed about things. More of a “don’t worry, be happy” type of person.

WR: What is a weakness you would prefer not having?
EM: Eating and drinking too much. I always put on weight in our break and spend the next six months getting it back off over the rowing season.

WR: What do you do to take your mind off of rowing?
EM: I’ve got a three-year-old son, so that takes my mind off it easily. Playing and running around after him means you don’t have to worry about rowing.

WR: What are your goals for the coming ten years?
EM:That’s a hard one. It’s easy to look four years in advance, maybe eight if you’re talking about Olympic cycles. If you commit to one, you have a realisation of your expectations for the four years. And in the back of your mind, you’re thinking about how long you have a career in the sport. So at the moment, two years for Rio, maybe six for Tokyo… But apart from that, you just have to go with what you’ve got and worry about that.


Hamish Bond (NZL) © Igor Meijer/FISA

Hamish Bond

World Rowing: What factors do you think have played a role in your success this year?
Hamish Bond:I think probably one of the biggest factors of our success in any year now is largely due to the work we’ve done over all of the previous years. So probably the biggest factor this year is all the knowledge and experience that we’ve been able to gather in all of our time in the pair. That’s the biggest factor in addition to just working hard and training hard all year as we always do. So that’s probably one of our biggest advantages.

WR: What did you want to be when you were ten years old? 
HB: Actually, probably around that time I had the idea to be an architect. I don’t know why but I’ve always been quite interested in design and that sort of thing but I never really went down that route. That is one thing that I did sort of see myself doing. Maybe in the next life…

WR: Were you already involved in sports at that age?
HB: Yes, around that age field hockey and basketball were my two main sports. I played at regional level and then I messed around with rowing at high school. Eventually it became obvious that I was better at rowing and I guess I had more passion and time for the sport. I then eventually gave up hockey and basketball to concentrate on rowing.

WR: Where are you keeping your World Rowing award?
HB: My award is sitting in a display bookcase in our living room. So it’s sitting up there next to the other bits and pieces that I’ve been able to collect over the years.

WR: What can we find in your refrigerator?
HB: A bit of everything. Tonight we had homemade fish and chips. It was very good. I think we eat pretty healthy. We’re pretty well-versed in nutrition, so lots of fruit and vegetables. We’re getting towards the end of the week so we’re waiting for our big shopping to stock back up.

WR: In a breaking news story about you, what would the title be?
HB: That’s a weird question. I don’t know. I guess I’m not interesting enough for breaking news. I have no doubt that they would incorporate 007 somewhere in there and combine it with my last name Bond! (Note: Hamish is the Scottish equivalent of the name “James”.)

WR: If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be?
HB: What about… a wolf? Yeah, we’ll go with wolf.

WR: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
HB: Ricky Gervais, 'cause I really enjoy his view on the world and his sense of humour.

WR: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
HB: I think teleportation would be pretty cool. It has the benefits of flying but it doesn’t take the time.

WR: What type of person would you refuse to row with, and why?
HB: I would refuse to row with someone that I knew was inconsistent. That drives me up the wall. So, not someone who’s gone one day and there the next. I like consistency. Eric has been pretty consistent in his performances. That’s one of his positives.

WR: What is one of your most beneficial strengths and why?
HB: My consistency! The ability to turn up, day in, day out, no matter what, no matter how you are feeling, no matter what the situation, to be able to train hard and really perform. I think that’s probably one of my strengths.

WR: What is a weakness you would prefer not having?
HB: Hmmm... I can’t think of a weakness. Um, I guess I’m very competitive, and although that is mostly positive, at times it can be a hindrance as well. Perhaps I’m overly competitive at times.

WR: What do you do to take your mind off of rowing?
HB: I work part-time for a financial industry company, so that takes my mind off rowing a little bit. I work half a dozen hours a week but that is enough just to keep something on the side and keep on doing something outside of the sport.

We also just built a house recently and landscaping has been my project for this summer. It’s fun at the start but once you’ve done half a dozen hours in a day it starts becoming a bit of a chore. But I do enjoy making things, so I’ve made a couple of tables and I’m in the process of making another one.

WR: What are your goals for the coming ten years?
HB: I guess that by then I’ll have had a successful transition to life outside of rowing and hopefully given everything to the sport that my mind and body can.