Isaac Grainger started rowing at Edgewater College in Auckland at the age of 15 in 2007.
He spent a year with Auckland Rowing Club after leaving school and joined the New Zealand U21 team in 2011. Isaac then joined the Auckland Rowing Performance Centre and was selected in the New Zealand university trans-Tasman team in 2012. His first international appearance for New Zealand came in 2013 when he was selected in the U23 men’s eight. The crew won gold at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Linz, Austria, before defending their title at the 2014 worlds in Italy. Isaac continued with the young men’s eight in 2015 when, after just one seating change, they moved into the elite ranks. A bronze at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, followed by a narrow 4th at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France, meant the crew qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games. In what was the first appearance in the boat class for New Zealand in over 30 years, the men’s eight finished in 6th place in Rio. Isaac continued in the men’s eight through 2017 and 2018, with highlights including multiple World Rowing Cup medals and a 6th place finish at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. He was selected as the men’s sculling reserve in 2019 and found himself being useful early on, jumping into the men’s quad at World Rowing Cup II as injury cover and winning a bronze medal in the process.
Off the water Isaac is studying mathematics and computer science at the University of Waikato. He and his fiancée have two cats named Ted and Margot and a dog called Lachie.