- Started Rowing
- Gary Roberts
2013 World Rowing Championships - Silver, men's lightweight four
2010 World Rowing Championships - Silver, men's lightweight pair
In 2017 James has made the transition from lightweight rower to the men's heavyweight eight. He will compete at World Cup II, World Cup II, and Henley Royal Regatta.
James is part of the lightweight men's four crew that finished fifth in the A final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. James was part of the 2015 World Championship crew that finished fourth and in doing so qualified the lightweight men’s four for Rio – an historic occasion as it is the first time a New Zealand men's lightweight four have qualified in this event for the Olympic Games.
James was part of the New Zealand lightweight four that were silver medallists at the 2013 World Rowing Championships. In 2014 James was struck by a back injury and had to make an early exit from the World Championships - his crew went on to win silver.
James was born in Darfield and attended Christ’s College where he began rowing. He is now a member of the Avon Rowing Club. He and his wife Leah were married in 2015 and live in Cambridge with their two dogs.
James first represented New Zealand when he raced for the New Zealand U21 team that travelled to Adelaide in 2006. In 2007 he raced the men’s eight at the 2007 Junior World Rowing Championships and then went on to race the men’s eight again in 2008 at the Under 23 World Championships. James has since been in lightweight class boats, going on to the 2009 World Cups in Munich and Lucerne and the 2009 World Championship in Poznan in the Lightweight four.
In 2010 he moved in the lightweight men's pair for the 2010 Karapiro World Rowing Championships where they won silver. He remained in the pair for 2011 before moving back into the men's lightweight four in 2012 in the attempt to gain Olympic selection, that crew failed to get the Olympic spot.
In 2013 the lightweight four was a sharp combination, with James teaming up with Curtis Rapley, Peter Taylor and James Hunter. They have won gold at the Sydney, Eton and Lucerne World Cup events before finishing up in second to win the Silver medal at the 2013 World Rowing Championship regatta.In 2014 the lightweight four crew again won Gold at the World Cup regattas they attended. James unfortunately couldn't contest the 2014 Rowing championships final due to a back injury, he was pulled out of the crew and replaced by Alistair Bond. The crew went on to win Silver.