New Zealand rowing great Hamish Bond is joining the Team New Zealand sailing syndicate ahead of next year’s defence of the America’s Cup in Barcelona.
It’s the second code switch for the triple Olympic gold medallist after he moved into cycling and claimed a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Bond is one of four athletes from other sports who have signed with Team New Zealand.
Two-time Coast-to-Coast winner Dougal Allan, cyclist Louis Crosby and rower Cameron Webster are also coming on board.
Each of the new sailing team recruits progressed through a brutal selection process overseen by Team New Zealand Trainer Kim Simperingham late in 2022.
His job was to find and physically train the elite athletes capable of outputting the immense power required to drive the systems onboard the AC75.
“We had a really interesting week of Cyclor testing for our existing sailing team as well as a list of potential new candidates, all of whom took their bodies to their absolute limits for the tests.
The original cyclor, Simon van Velthooven, who discretely joined the team in 2016 prior to the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda when the team was developing the cyclor innovation, returns to a more familiar leg powered role along AC36 grinders Louis Sinclair, Marcus Hansen and Marius van der Pol.
Team New Zealand’s Blair Tuke, who has been intricately involved in the selection process, is encouraged by the calibre of the team that has been established around him.
“We have a really potent mix of America’s Cup and AC75 experience, fresh hungry talent and raw power which I am sure will set us up strongly by the time we are on the start line for the America’s Cup Match on October 12th 2024 in Barcelona.
“To see what these guys are prepared to put themselves through in testing to qualify for the team has been really impressive and I have no doubt they will apply that same commitment to the whole team in the gym, in the shed and on the water throughout the campaign.”
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz