At the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Phelan coxed the men's eight to an historic gold medal.
During the 2013 World Cup Series, Phelan coxed the men's eight which won gold in Sydney and at Eton Dorney and finished 4th in Lucerne.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Phelan won a bronze medal in the men's eight.
During the 2012 World Cup Series, Phelan coxed the men's eight. In Belgrade, the crew won a silver medal finishing 3 seconds behind the German eight. The crew won silver once again in Lucerne but closed the gap to just over 1 second. In Munich, the crew won a bronze medal.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Phelan coxed the men's eight to a silver medal after rowing through opposition from Canada and Australia. Germany won the gold.
During the 2011 World Cup Series Phelan coxed the men's eight to a silver medal behind Germany in Munich and a bronze in Lucerne.
At the 2010 World Rowing Championships on New Zealand's Lake Karapiro, Phelan coxed the men's eight. The silver medal 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. The bronze medal went to Australia.
For the 2010 World Cup series Phelan coxed the men's eight, winning gold in Bled, bronze in Munich and in Lucerne taking another bronze which was a significant step up for the crew given the calibre of the field there.
Phelan started coxing at Bedford School in 1995 to help some friends who were in need of a cox. He enjoyed it so much he decided to carry on and cox both at his school and his local rowing club.
On leaving school he took time off to concentrate on his studies and his professional career. He graduated from the University of Leicester in 2001 with a degree in Law, moving to York in 2002 to attend Law school before moving to London to work. That year he took up rowing again, joining London Rowing Club. In his first season there, he competed in the 2002 Commonwealth Championships winning gold in the lightweight eight for England. Since then Phelan has been an active member of London Rowing Club, winning Henley Royal Regatta and winning gold again in the 2006 Commonwealth Championships for England.
2007 was Phelan's first year in the GB senior men's sweep team. He came 4th in the coxed four at the World Championships in Munich and also won gold in the eight at the World Cup in Amsterdam in June 2007.
Phelan coxed the men's eight to a 5th place at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan, after the crew achieved a direct A-Final qualification from their heat by overhauling Australia on the last stroke. He had established his place in the boat during the 2009 World Cup series, winning bronze in Banyoles and Munich and 4th in Lucerne.
Phelan now works for HM Treasury, who are hugely supportive of his rowing career. When not rowing he enjoys improving his golf swing, travelling around the world and playing the didjeridoo.
Phelan is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.