12 June 2021
By Göran R Buckhorn
Kiwi rower Mahé Drysdale, 42, announced his retirement from competitive rowing on his blog on Thursday.
It was in 1996, 18-year-old Drysdale started to row for Auckland University out of West End Rowing Club. In 2002, he first represented New Zealand, in the coxless four. Two years later, Drysdale raced at the Olympic Games in Athens in the coxless fours finishing fifth.
In 2005, he swapped the sweep oar for two sculls, and between the years 2005 and 2015, Drysdale became the world champion five times in the single sculls and took three silver medals. At the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016, he took the gold in the boat class (bronze in 2008).
Mahé Drysdale was also successful in the Diamonds Challenge Sculls at Henley, an event he won six times between 2006 and 2018. The latter race, where Drysdale rowed against Norwegian Kjetil Borch, proved to be a thrilling race. Watch it below:
The following year, he returned to Henley, now to row in the Grand Challenge Cup. In the crew was also Olympic champion Hamish Bond. The Kiwi eight took the Cup.
Read Drysdale’s own words on his retirement on his blog, in an article called “The End” – “It has been one hell of a ride,” he writes.