Motorsport: Olympic icon Hamish Bond trades boat for car to compete in Otago Rally

He's a three-time Olympic Rowing champion, and he's represented New Zealand as a cyclist at the Commonwealth Games, so what's next for Hamish Bond? 

Well, it still involves racing, speed and gravel.

It's not the kind of helmet he's used to wearing, the seat's a little different too, but Hamish Bond is still racing at least - this time in a rally car. 

"It's a massive learning curve," Bond says. "I've got zero experience."

Bond is used to challenges, especially when speed is involved. His pace on the water has seen him win three Olympic gold medals.

And thanks to his speed on the bike, he also represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 - winning bronze in the men's time trial.

Now, Bond's going even faster on gravel.

"I've had a couple of close calls with fence posts and ditches, but fortunately to date the car is still immaculate. "I haven't binned it yet."

"Yet" being the keyword.

Wednesday saw a crash course for Bond after jumping at the opportunity when asked if he'd like to be a guest driver at April's Otago Rally.

He'll drive this Subaru H6 owned by rally stalwart, Jeff Judd, who's even taken the bold step of not insuring his car.

"Just a gentleman's agreement," Judd tells Newshub. "But I won't need it will I?"

"I have no idea, we haven't discussed that," Bond replies.

Don't worry though Bond is in safe hands, with experienced co-driver Grant Marra passing on tips.

"I said he's either got big balls or a small brain," Bond jokes. "So one or the other to put his hand up for this job."

But what happens when he does end up in a spin.

"You normally start laughing, then there's a lot of swearing normally, then you back up and take off again," says Marra.

Bond's now got five months to prepare before he takes off properly at the Otago Rally.