Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are on the cusp of further rowing history tonight at the latest World Cup on England's Dorney Lake.
They stand to record the longest winning streak in men's rowing when they bid for their 14th straight major title at 9.48pm (New Zealand time). Their current record includes an Olympic gold medal, three world championships and nine World Cup wins. Prestigious Henley Royal Regatta titles (2009 and 2010) were added along the way as well. At the London Games, they also set a new world best time on their way to the final (rowers refer to `world best' rather than `world record' because of the variance in water conditions).
News agency AFP has reported Bond and Murray are currently equal with the Danish lightweight four of 1996-1999 and the German men's eight of 2009 to date. The Germans stand to extend their record tomorrow too, but have gone through several crew changes.
Underlining the pair's continued dominance was a heat win by more than 18 seconds on Friday to go directly into the final. Their opposition barely register in the same wide-angled shot in a picture on the pair's Twitter account. They even found time to watch the All Blacks defeat France last night as they relaxed before the race.
Seven of New Zealand's nine rowing crews contest finals tonight. The men's four, lightweight four, double sculls, lightweight single sculler Duncan Grant are through, as are both women's boats - single sculler Emma Twigg and the new pair of Rebecca Scown and Kayla Pratt. The majority of the Dick Tonks-coached women's squad arrives next week.
The two boats containing Olympic double sculling champions Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen have failed to make finals.
Sullivan contests the B final of the single sculls tonight while Cohen and his crewmates have finished third in the B final of the quadruple sculls.
Grant gets the finals racing underway tonight for the New Zealand team at 9.05pm (NZT).