Mate, what were you thinking? This could be themost selfish decision ever made by a Kiwi sports person.

And what's worse, you sold out to a women's mag. Come on, mate, you're better than that.

You're a legend,a bona fide winner, a champion of champions. Now you've left poor, old Hamish Bond high and dry - literally. You've also cost us a guaranteed gold in Tokyo.

Last time I checked, the only crews prepared to take on you two were those who had failed in other boats. They were making up the numbers, racing for silver and bronze.

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Now you remain on sweet 69 - the number of regattas unbeaten -and miss the chance to make history with three straight golds.

To quote a petulant, screaming child, it's just not fair, Eric!

Remember all those interviews we did, where we spoke of those marvellous victories.
When you had to move on from former coach DickTonks, when he basically labelled you two a pair of wankers.

When we flew you both to Wellington for the Sevens as guest speakers, and took you around the concourse in your racing suits, and those drunk punters commended you on your costumes.

Who do I turn to now when Iwant to wind up the traditionalists by getting someone to take an alternative flag on to the dais at the world champs?

You can cite family reasons all you like, but it'sus, the Kiwi sports lovers, who are hurting most.

We relied on you to provide certain gold on the most famous racing lakes of the world. We loved counting the regattas of world dominance.

The fact you and Hamishn ever lost a race together-we were glowing with pride.

There won't be another like you-certainly not one with a moustache like yours.

I just wish you could've shown the stamina of Mahe Drysdale to keep on keeping on, even when winning, body and mind, were not always in tune.

Now you've made my job covering rowing so much harder.

Who's going to state it the way it is? Who's going to give me those powerful quotes about success and world domination?

Who's going to text me the night of the Halbergs, asking if you'd won so you could gauge how many beers you could have, in case youhad to make a speech?

Eric Murray, I leave you with this. Congratulations on your fabulous career. You will go down as one of our greats.