It’s being discussed quietly in New Zealand that the dominant New Zealand mens pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray will double up and race twoevents at the World Championships in Amsterdam taking on both the coxed and coxless pairs events.
The challenge for coaches will be on the race scheduling – since the Worlds has moved from 2 days of finals to 4 there’s the chance they won’t have to race both events on the same day – which Pinsent and Cracknell did have to do.
Race timing is key
The provisional programme for Amsterdam has 2+ final on Friday 29th August and 2- final on Saturday 30th August. So not the same challenge Pinsent and Cracknell faced with two races on one day.
It’s been done before
The last time this happened was with Matt Pinsent and James Cracknell who won both at Luzern in 2001. Famously, Steve Redgrave three times failed to achieve the “double”.
Geoffrey Page, writing in 2001, helpfully summarised Redgrave’s track record
While winning the coxless pairs with Andy Holmes in Copenhagen in 1987 and at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, Redgrave managed only silver in the coxed pairs in Denmark and the bronze in Korea. He finished second in the coxless pairs and fifth in the coxed with Simon Berrisford at Bled in 1989.
Helpfully, the Luzern 2001 race allowed the Rowperfect inventor, Cas Rekers, to re-verify the software algorithm comparing different boat classes. When you have two world-class athletes racing on flat water within a few hours those races are directly comparable.