Bedford International Rowers – rowing for Rio

Phelan Hill Phelan Hill

Rio 2016 Olympiad: 2013 – 2016
For the first race of the 2015 season, Phelan coxed the men’s eight to a silver medal at the European Championships in Poznan.

Phelan coxed the GB men’s eight to two bronze medals during 2014, firstly at the European Championships in Belgrade and then at the final World Cup Regatta in Lucerne. Phelan was then selected to cox the men’s eight at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. In a thrilling finale to the Championships, Phelan and his crew mates took gold, defending the historic title won in 2013. In the final, three boats – GB, Germany and Poland – were in the race. With great strength, GB took it on in the middle ‘k’ to lead by about half a length. Neither Germany nor Poland were able to catch GB, who told gold and the World title convincingly.

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 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Phelan coxed the men’s eight to an historic gold medal.

London 2012 Olympiad: 2009 – 2012
Phelan coxed 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, 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, Phelan and his crew 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.

Phelan coxed the men’s eight to 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 finishing 4th in Lucerne.

Beijing 2008 Olympiad: 2005 – 2008
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 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.

He returned to the sport in 2002 after joining London Rowing Club and, in his first season, coxed the England lightweight eight to gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Championships. He repeated that achievement at the 2006 Commonwealth Championships and also enjoyed success at the Henley Royal Regatta with London RC.

Beyond the Boat
Phelan graduated from the University of Leicester in 2001 with a degree in Law. He then attended Law school in York before moving to London in 2002 to work.

Phelan is currently taking time out from his work as a Senior Policy Advisor with 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 didgeridoo.

Phelan is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.


Current Address:Putney

Home Town:Bedford


Personal information

Date of Birth:21st July 1979


Education:Bedford School, University of Leicester

Rowing information

Club:Leander Club

Boat:Men’s Squad



Jurgen Grobler

Learnt to Row:Bedford School

Original Club(s):Bedford School Boat Club

Original Coach(es):

John West, Christian Felkel