Golden Oldies

 

Below are just some of the notable alumni of Reading University. Their efforts have inspired many others from the University to aim high. If you have any comments about this page, please contact us get link.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Debbie Flood

Debbie Flood

Debbie, who studied Physiology and Biochemistry at Reading University lives and trains in Henley on Thames. Debbie is one of GB’s most experienced female rowers with an incredible track record to show for it.

Debbie won two silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the quad sculls. Just a few weeks after her 2004 medal, she went on to win another silver in the World University Championships in her single. She was the Under 23 World Champion in the single in 2000 and in 2001 sculled in the double with her previous partner Frances Houghton. They were junior bronze medalists in 1998 and made an impressive Under 23 debut in 1999, winning gold at the World U23 Regatta in Hamburg. In 2001 Debbie gained her first senior vest finishing 7th at the World Championships. In 2002 they won the World Cup Series with victories at Hazewinkel and Lucerne, and finished 4th at the World Championships in Seville.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

James Cracknell

1298548987_james-cracknell1

James Cracknell is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most famous rowers. James graduated Reading University in 1993 with a BSc in Human Geography. His rowing career started as a junior with a notable gold medal at the Junior World Championships in the coxless four in 1990. He went on to win three consecutive World Championship gold medals in the coxless four in 1997, 1998, and 1999. This lead to a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the coxless four with Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent, and Tim Foster. This accomplishment was followed by two more gold medals at the 2001 World Championships in the coxed and coxless pair and a further gold in the 2002 World Championships in the coxless pair. James ended his rowing career with a gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the coxless four. Adding to his gold plated career, James received the FISA Crew of the Year award in 2002 with Matthew Pinsent and in 2004 again with Matthew Pinsent, Ed Coode, and Steve Williams.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cath Bishop

P13_BW_1024_268599kCath Bishop received her PhD in German Literature at Reading University in 2000.

Cath won medals at the World Championships twice, a silver in 1998 in the women’s pair with Dot Blackie, and then in 2003 she won the gold, again in the pair, with Katherine Grainger. After winning silver in the 2004 Olympic Games in the women’s pair with Grainger, she retired from rowing and took up a career with the Foreign Office.

“I’ve never exactly had a ‘normal’ daily routine, whatever that might  be, for as long as I can remember. As a PhD student at Reading I would study whenever I could, sometimes combined with sports training as an Olympic rower, sometimes full-time studying and research”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nick Strange

Nick_Strange_2-Nick graduated Reading University in 1987 with a BSc in Chemical Physics. He has rowed internationally at junior and senior levels, and helped RUBC to Henley Royal Regatta success in the Visitors’ Challenge Cup in the 1980′s while studying at Reading University. After ending his successful rowing career with five senior World Championship medals and one U23 World Championship medal, he continues to be involved in the GB rowing scene through coaching senior athletes. Nick has coached women’s and lightweight squads under chief coach Paul Thompson and his most recent achievement in coaching includes a bronze medal in the senior women’s 8 at the 2011 World Championships.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex Gregory

alex_1553230aCoached by ARA Performance Development Coach Mark Earnshaw, Alex progressed steadily during his time at Reading University. During his time at Reading, Alex gained his first GB vest in 2004 by racing at the U23 World Championships.  After graduating from Reading University in 2006, Alex continued to support RUBC by coaching other Reading students.

His athletic career however was only beginning. In 2008, Alex narrowly missed out qualifying for the senior quad selected for the Beijing Olympics. This only fuelled him on to continue improving. As a result, he won the GB senior rowing trials in 2009  which lead to a gold medal at the 2009 World Championships in the men’s coxless four. After a fourth place in the 2010 World Championships, this was followed by another gold medal at the 2011 World Championships again in the men’s coxless four. Alex’s biggest achievement to date was a fantastic gold at the 2012 London Olympics in the men’s coxless four with his teammates Andrew Triggs-Hodge, Tom James, and Pete Reed. Alex continues to produce impressive results by training in Caversham with the GB Senior Rowing Team.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gary Herbert

Garry_HerbertGary Herbert was in his second year of a History degree when he achieved Olympic    gold with Greg and Jonny Searle in the coxed pair in Barcelona 1992. He has gone    on to become widely recognised with his exciting style of rowing commentary.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Adrian Ellison

 Adrian_EllisonAdrian went to Reading University and studied zoology. He coxed women’s crews during his time there in the late 1970s. Later he returned as an after dinner speaker, which we hope many of all of these golden oldies will do some day. He coxed the four which brought Steve Redgrave his first Olympic gold in L.A. in 1984.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ric Egington

Announcement+Rowing+Athletes+Named+Team+GB+ih8ei-g-ejBlRic studied zoology at Reading and graduated in 2000. He rowed in the     RUBC Temple Challenge eight at Henley, won the Thames Cup withLeander in 2002, and reached the final of the Quad Sculls in 2003. In his first international appearance he won silver in the coxed four at the 2003 World Championships. In 2007 he won the bronze medal at the World Championships in the Men’s 8 followed by a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in the same boat category. After Beijing, Ric won a gold medal at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships in the men’s coxless four. This was followed by a strong performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games with a silver in the men’s eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sam Townsend

Sam started to row through the GB Rowing Team’s Start Programme having previously played football and cricket. As a junior, Sam won the British Junior Ergo Championships in 2003 and later won the U23 Ergo title in 2005. He graduated from Reading University with a degree in Rural Environmental Science in 2010. In the same year, Sam raced in the men’s quad scull at the Senior World Championships. His 5th place result was the first time in 28 years that the British had seen a men’s quad scull reach the final of a World Championship. This accomplishment shows the interest in making GB a contender in this very competitive boat class.

Alongside his athletic career, Sam is currently both assistant coach and head of the trialling programme at RUBC. He is a fantastic role model for the students and plans on continuing his ties with the university.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Natasha Townsend


Natasha Townsend (born Page) made her GB rowing debut as a junior at the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Junior World Championships. Natasha made a great step from junior to senior in 2004 by becoming U23 World Champion in the 4- just one year after winning the silver medal at the Junior World Championships in the same boat class in 2003. In 2004, she also made her debut at senior level by winning the third World Cup in Lucerne in the same 4-. Natasha joined Reading University in 2003 and received her BA in Fine Arts in 2007. During her time at Reading University, she was an active member at RUBC. Following her time at Reading, she finished 5th at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. She followed this strong result with a 5th place result at the 2012 London Olympic Games 4 years later. Natasha is currently Women’s assistant coach at Oxford University.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Charles Cousins

Charles’ GB debut began as a junior at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2006 where he became 5th in the pair. Following this first international rowing representation, he joined Reading University. During his time at Reading, Charles studied Psychology and also represented the university at various BUCS events during his time at the university. In his first U23 year, Charles won a bronze medal with fellow RUBC member Bill Lucas in the 2x. After narrowly missing out at qualifying for the Beijing Olympic 4x, he won the men’s 2x at the U23 World Championships with Bill Lucas again the following year in 2008. Following these impressive results, Charles proved himself worthy of a place in the Senior squad. In his first Olympic Games in London in 2012, Charles made the final of the men’s 4x and finished with a strong 5th place. His most successful season has undoubtedly been 2013 in which he became the top sculler of the GB team by winning the GB Senior Trials. He was kept in the men’s 4x with fellow RUBC member Sam Townsend and won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships. This was the first Senior men’s quad championship medal in Great Britain’s history.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bill Lucas

Bill began rowing as a junior at Dart Totnes Rowing Club and first represented GB as a junior at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2005 in which he became 5th. After taking a gap year, he joined Reading University to study Politics and International Relations. In 2007 along with fellow RUBC member Charles Cousins, Bill won a bronze medal at the U23 World Championships followed by a win in the same competition at the 2008 U23 World Championships the following year. While still being U23 in 2009, he was selected to be in the men’s Senior 4x in 2009. They won two silver medals in the World Cups in Banyoles and Lucerne but unfortunately had to withdraw from the World Championships because of illness and injury. Bill was part of the first GB men’s quad to reach a Senior World Championship in the 4x since 1982. They finished their season in this race with a strong 5th place. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Bill joined fellow Reading University alumni Sam Townsend and reached the final of the men’s 2x with another 5th place result. Most recently, Bill has joined Matt Langridge in the men’s 2x and became 9th at the World Championships in 2013.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anna Watkins

Anna began rowing at Cambridge University and quickly showed her immense potential. She joined the U23 less than a year after joining the sport itself. Her early successes included a gold in the W4- at the U23 World Championships in 2004 and a bronze at the following U23 World Championships in the 2-. She raced her first Senior World Championship with RUBC member Natasha Townsend (Page) and became 5th in that event. Anna has since moved to sculling and has raced every race since in the 2x. This has proved to be a very good choice for GB rowing as Anna moved from strength to strength in this event with a medal at the 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 World Championships. In 2008, Anna won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a well deserved gold medal at the most recent 2012 London Olympic Games. Along with teammate Katherine Grainger, they were named Crew of the Year in 2012. Anna is currently studying for her PhD in mathematics at Reading University.

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~