07/28/2012 07:41 EDT | Updated 09/27/2012 05:12 EDT

New Zealand pair Hamish Bond, Eric Murray set world best time at Olympic rowing regatta

WINDSOR, England - Eric Murray and Hamish Bond smashed the world best time in the men's pair by nearly six seconds at the Olympic rowing regatta on Saturday.

Never easing up despite having their heat won, they crossed the line in a time of 6 minutes, 8.50 seconds at Dorney Lake — comfortably surpassing the previous best time of 6:14.27 minutes posted by Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell of Britain in Seville in 2002.

"When we were warming up, we saw there was a nice tail wind and some fast times," Bond said, "but we didn't really have any inclination of how fast we were going."

Murray and Bond are the big favourites for the gold medal, having never lost since coming together after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That run of results includes 14 World Cup or world championship races and their margin of victories marks them out as arguably the most dominant crew in world rowing.

"We just wanted to go out there and put our preparation into practice, and show we are really well prepared going into the Olympics," Murray said. "I think we have done that but this is only the heats. We are under no illusions.

"It was just about getting over the line fast and qualify for the semifinals."

The record held by Pinsent and Cracknell was the second longest-standing world best in Olympic-class rowing.

Bond and Murray were part of the New Zealand four that finished seventh at the Beijing Games in 2008, then decided to switch to the pair as they sought a first Olympic gold.

Barring injury or a calamity, that should come on Friday. They were more than eight seconds quicker than their nearest rivals — George Nash and William Satch.

"It's a confidence boost for us," Murray said. "We thought we were well prepared but you never know before you get into the finals.

"We just have to keep going like that."