Christian Felkel

Technical Efficiency Specialist // Men's Squad

Christian Felkel profile image

Highly respected within the international rowing circuit, Christian is the GB Rowing Team Technical Efficiency Specialist coach.

As a coach, Christian Felkel enjoys the process of working together towards a common goal.

Christian left British Rowing in 2020 to spend more time with his family during the pandemic, where he spent a short time working with the German Rowing Federation, having spent 12 years as a High Performance coach for Great Britain and leading the Men’s Eight to a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

He returned to the GB Rowing Team in 2022 as its new Technical Efficiency Specialist coach.

On The Water

Rio Olympiad 2013 – 2016

Christian began the Rio Olympiad with a 5th place for the men’s four of Nathaniel Reilly O-Donnell, Alan Sinclair, Scott Durant and Matt Tarrant at the World Championships in Chungju, Korea.

A year later at the same event – this time held on the Bosbaan in Amsterdam – the GB M8+, co-coached by Christian and Jurgen Grobler, overcame a shaky start to the regatta, to emerge victorious in the final. After consolidating a convincing win in the repechage, the GB eight took the lead from Germany during the mid-section of the final, and were uncatchable for the tiring Poles and Germans.

Christian coached the M4- of Scott Durant, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley and Stewart Innes to a fine bronze medal at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette. The crew produced an impressive and carefully executed performance in their final, finishing just 0.26 seconds behind Australia in silver medal position.

To conclude a highly successful Olympiad for Christian, the GB M8+, which he coached alongside men’s Chief Coach Jurgen Grobler, produced a show stopping performance to win Olympic gold. They lead the field from the start, and showed true determination to defeat long-standing rivals, Germany.


London Olympiad 2009 – 2012

His proudest coaching moment in this cycle, Christian’s M8+, which he coached alongside John West, won bronze at the London 2012 Olympics. The crew, Alex Partridge, James Foad, Tom Ransley, Richard Egington, Mohammed Sbihi, Greg Searle, Matthew Langridge, Constantine Louloudis and Phelan Hill made a brave push to take gold from the strong German crew at 1250m. They couldn’t quite hold their bow ahead of the victorious German boat, but produced a spirited row and well-earned medal winning performance.

Christian coached the M8+ to two consecutive silver medals at the 2010 and 2011 World Rowing Championships, an excellent step on from their 5th place finish in 2009.

More info...

Prior to his appointment with the GB Rowing Team, Christian had coached in South Africa since 1995 and was appointed Head Coach of Rowing South Africa in 2001.  He has a successful coaching record at World and Olympic level with this nation, including coaching the men’s pair to a medal the Athens Olympics in 2004 and number of Olympic A Final boats at the 2000 & 2008 Olympics.

Beyond the Boat

Christian’s own rowing career began when he joined a club with a friend, aged 13. He has a keen interest in philosophy, and in another life, would have pursued a career as a carpenter. Christian’s three ideal dinner guests include Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Sir David Tanner.

Christian is Lottery funded through UK Sport.