There isn’t too much in common with rally roads and Olympic lakes; something Hamish Bond is set to discover himself when he takes on next year’s Otago Rally.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist and GOAT of competitive rowing is confirmed as a guest driver for the famous South Island rally.
It will be his second time in a rally car and first in the driver’s seat.
“It’s pretty different being at the steering wheel rather than getting a ride with Emma Gilmour,” Bond said.
Bond took to some of Christchurch’s metal roads on Wednesday to get in some much-needed practice.
“There were a few butt-clenching moments, but I am pretty pleased with how it went. It’s fantastic to have such an awesome experience at this stage of my sporting career.”
Going fast on gravel is hard enough. But when you have spent almost your entire life driving an automatic road car, transitioning to rallying is even trickier.
“I’m always up for a new challenge. Rallying is something very different for me.”
Bond is with the Magnum Motorsport team for April’s rally. Team owner Jeff Judd has given his newest star driver a Subaru H6 for the event.
Grant Marra has put his hand up to be Bond’s co-driver.
“Having such an experienced and supportive team behind me made it much easier considering my novice rank.”
As far as everyone knows, Bond is yet to bin the H6 and is well on his way to beginning a few months of preparation before his debut gig on April 8-10.
Main Image: Euan Cameron