Rio 2016 Olympiad: 2013 - 2016
James was recovering from injury during the 2015 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials, but rejoined his 2014 crewmate Matt Langridge to race in the men’s pair at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, where they won gold. Matt and James finished in silver medal position at both the third World Cup in Lucerne, and at the World Championships in Aiguebelette where they qualified the pair for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
James started his 2014 season in the men's eight at the European Rowing Championships in Belgrade, winning a bronze medal. He went on to compete in the same event at the World Cup in Aiguebelette where he and the crew won silver. At the final World Cup in Lucerne James moved to the men's pair with Matt Langridge where the duo produced a superb performance to win silver after only a couple of weeks together. In Amsterdam at the World Rowing Championships the pair showed that they had moved on. In the Final they went out with the dominating Kiwi duo to 750m and by this time both boats were clear of the rest of the field. New Zealand slipped away but not as far as they had done all season and James and Matt Langridge produced an excellent performance to secure the silver medal, three seconds ahead of bronze and four seconds behind the gold.
At the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, James raced in the men's pair with Oliver Cook. The duo won the ‘B Final’ comfortably, finishing 7th overall.
London 2012 Olympiad: 2009 – 2012
James rowed in the men’s eight in each of the four years of the London Olympiad.
During the 2012 World Cup Series the men's eight won silver in Belgrade and Lucerne and bronze in Munich and rounded off the season with an Olympic bronze medal at the 2012 Games in London.
During the 2011 World Cup Series the men's eight took a silver medal behind Germany in Munich and a bronze in Lucerne. At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, they won a silver medal after rowing through opposition from Canada and Australia. Germany won the gold.
At the 2010 World Rowing Championships on New Zealand's Lake Karapiro, James won a fine silver medal in the eight. This was an excellent step on for the crew, who were only six-tenths of a second behind the reigning world champions, Germany, as they crossed the line.
James raced with the senior men's squad in 2009, winning a bronze medal in the eight at the first World Cup in Banyoles, and was placed 8th in the second British men's four in Munich. He also raced in the men's pair at the 2009 World U23 Championships, where he finished 8th.
Beijing 2008 Olympiad: 2005 – 2008
In 2008 James gave up his job to focus on his rowing and won the Britannia Cup at Henley.
During 2007 James decided to trial for the U23 team and also joined Molesey Boat Club. Unfortunately 3 days before the final trials in Belgium he became injured on the club training camp which put him out for the rest of the season.
Beyond the Boat
James first took up rowing aged 11, following in his father’s footsteps, but also tried his hand at archery before focusing fully on his current sport.
He took a year out from trialling for GB teams in 2006 to work full-time for an insurance company. He hopes to pursue a career in physiotherapy after rowing and plans to start his studies after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
James has a one-year-old daughter and loves getting home to spend time with his family. “I completely leave rowing behind me as soon as I leave training.” He also enjoys watching Eight out of Ten Cats Does Countdown and the Lord of the Rings movies.
If James could have been any other sportsperson, it would be Muhammad Ali – “who else?” The boxing legend would also be one of his ideal dinner party guests, along with Robin Williams and Jay-Z.
James hates untidiness – “it’s just being lazy” – and used to play the violin – “very badly, I might add”.
James is Lottery funded though UK Sport.