Welcome to HTBS, Chris!

HTBS editor Göran R Buckhorn writes:

It is with great pleasure that I announce one of the sport of rowing’s most famous and well-regarded journalists and authors, Christopher ‘Chris’ Dodd, has agreed to join HTBS’s ranks as an official contributor to our website. For those of you who have been around in the rowing world for a couple of decades, Chris does not need an introduction, but to freshen up your memory, or for you who are fairly new to rowing and/or to HTBS, following is an introduction of Chris.

Chris Dodd-small
Chris Dodd. Photo: Tim Koch.

Christopher ‘Chris’ Dodd has written about rowing in newspapers, magazines and books for more than 40 years. After beginning as a schoolboy cox in Bristol, he progressed to the stroke seat of his school’s second eight, a crew that satisfyingly beat the first eight in the last race of the season. He stopped rowing at Nottingham University to edit the student newspaper, which led to a career on The Guardian in 1965.

As a Guardian staffer, his main job was layout, design and section editing in the features department, but he also worked in the sport and city departments. He began writing about rowing at weekends in 1970. In 1994, he turned freelance when his mad scheme to set up the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames attracted a sponsor.

He was responsible for creating the rowing collection and library and curating special exhibitions. The museum opened its doors in 1998. It has won awards for its content, education programmes and architecture (by Sir David Chipperfield).

Chris is a board member of the Friends of Rowing History and has contributed to history symposia at the River & Rowing Museum and Mystic Seaport. From 1994 he continued as rowing correspondent at The Guardian until moving to the Independent in 2004, where he stayed until the said title, to its shame, lost interest in rowing.

Chris was the founding editor of Britain’s Regatta magazine and FISA’s World Rowing magazine. He edited Regatta from 1987 to 2002 and sat on FISA’s media commission between 1990 and 2002. With Rachel Quarrell, he founded RowingVoice, an occasional independent electronic magazine that entered the airwaves after the success of the Eton Mess daily at the World Championships in 2006. The Voice covers big events and publishes blogs from time to time. He contributes articles to British Rowing’s Rowing & Regatta magazine.

Chris has published nine books thus far, including histories of Henley Royal Regatta, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, World Rowing and London Rowing Club. His most recent books are Pieces of Eight (on Bob Janousek and the 1976 ground-breaking British Olympic eight), Bonnie Brave Boat Rowers (on Tyneside heroes, boat builders and song writers) and Unto the Tideway Born (500 years of Thames Watermen and Lightermen). For book details see www.doddsworld.org

Chris’s blazerati activities include press chief at the World Championships in Nottingham in 1986 and Indianapolis in 1994, and editor of the Olympic News Service from Lake Lanier at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He was also media chief at the 2002 Commonwealth and World Student Games regattas in Nottingham.

He is chairman of BARJ (formerly the British Association of Rowing Journalists), which is currently in trust while it ponders its future direction as the voice of the international rowing media.


  1. Members of The City Barge in Oxford will applaud the news that Chris Dodd is Chairman of BARJ. As would Richard Norton, our late departed Founder.

  2. Kudos to Göran for löring the world’s most steadfastly prolific rowing historian to a röst in the pantheon. Welcome, Mr. Dodd! (I note that the world’s best rowing history blog is published the The Colonies, its founder is a Swede and its most regular contributors are Brits, Irish and French, underscoring both the international appeal of the subject, as well as the need to generate more effort and interest on this side of the Pond.) A very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all staff, contributors and readers of HTBS!

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