15 Nov 2022

Olympic champion coxswain Bosworth retires from rowing

7:37 am on 15 November 2022

Canterbury coxswain Sam Bosworth has retired from rowing, a year after helping the New Zealand men's eight win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The gold medal-winning New Zealand eight at the Tokyo Olympics.

The gold medal-winning New Zealand eight at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Bosworth said it was time to start the next stage of his life, ending more than a decade of national rowing duty which included a handful of world junior medals and a history-making feat at the 2017 world championships.

However, it was his gold in Tokyo that stands out as a the high point, remembering how the little-fancied crew defied the odds to produce of the great New Zealand rowing performances - "one of the best races I've ever had as a coxswain".

"Once we arrived in Tokyo, I remember the boat just flying. It was just moving really well. From my seat it was just bubbling underneath me, and you always know that's a good sign," Bosworth said.

"The crew was so relaxed, I was relaxed. As the buzzer goes it was hectic like every eights race is, there were six coxswains yelling, all the men grunting… absolutely going for it.

"We got onto our winning rhythm… once we hit that the boat just started to fly, I guess we got 'On the Wave' as we called it.

"Coming through the 750 is when we started to really kick…we started to move away and Hamish (Bond) yelled something from the bow like, 'we've gotta go now,' maybe not quite those words.

"Crossing the finish line was the most incredible feeling. It was shock, it was excitement, it was, 'did that actually happen?' It didn't sink in 'until I was standing on the podium with a medal around my neck."

Bosworth made history in 2017, when he became the first male coxswain at international level to be picked for a female crew - when he was part of the New Zealand women's eight that won a world championships bronze.

He fondly remembers the historic campaign in Sarasota, Florida.

"Honestly, I loved it. Coxing's coxing you know, the same kind of fundamentals. There was obviously a difference in speed and the way we rowed but the athletes were incredible to work with."