Hamish Bond has triumphed over Mahe Drysdale in the single sculls at the national rowing championships with Eric Murray third.

The three Olympic champions stormed down the course with Bond taking the title by 1.07s from Drysdale and Murray 2.95s further back.

It is Bond's 19th national title.

Bond, who partners Murray in the men's pair at international level, is racing the single as part of his summer training. It's his fourth straight win in the class over Drysdale after success at the Christmas regatta, the Cambridge Town Cup and North Island championships.


"This was the hardest one," Bond said. "I was like 'hang on, hang on, hang on' ... then sprinted with 150m to go.

"I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in. That's what it took to win. I haven't had much success in the single until this year. Hopefully now I've learnt how to win in it."

He ruled out competing in the single sculls at international level, for now. "I'll hang up the sculls for a wee while and get back on the [sweep] oar. I might still do a bit in training, that's all. It's just a hobby, but a good one."

"It's been a bit frustrating getting silver all summer," Drysdale said. "But the tight racing is good for me. Now I've got to kick on to the world championship campaign from June to August. I'm pleased I don't have to race him overseas.

"I was out of it at the 1000m but fought my way back. With 250m to go, I still thought I had a chance but he had enough to hold on."

"It's a privileged position in New Zealand. We've got so many good scullers. What other country in the world would you have three Olympic gold medallists battling it out for the first three places in the national championships? If Bondy wanted a crack in the single, it'd come down to a trial, but I'd still back myself."

Emma Twigg won the women's event, fending off world championship double sculls silver medallist Zoe Stevenson.

Waikato took all the key trophies, including the Bankstream Trophy for top performing regional performance centre. The Centennial Oar for top club was awarded to Waikato Rowing Club. The Hallyburton Johnstone Rose Bowl for the top region in the eight-boat events was Waikato Rowing Association.


Waikato also gained the most points in sculling to win the Centennial Scull. Hamish Bond and Rebecca Scown were judged male and female rower of the year. Southern RPC won the premier women's eight race for the fourth straight year. Waikato RPC took out the men's.

The elite and under-23 triallists will be named today, with trials at Lake Karapiro March 2-6.