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Chris Harris Announces Retirement

  • 29 Sep 21

After an incredible career spanning 18 years, 2017 World Champion Chris Harris has announced his retirement from rowing.

Chris Harris started his rowing career at Whanganui High School and Aramaho Whanganui Rowing Club in 2002, aged 17. He made his first New Zealand appearance in the U23 men’s coxless four in 2007 where he and his crew won the silver medal at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Chris’s next New Zealand selection came in 2010 when he was part of the elite men’s sweep squad. He was later selected in the men’s eight for the home World Rowing Championships at Lake Kārapiro where the crew finished 5th.

Chris spent 2011 in the elite men’s four and helped to qualify the boat for the London Olympics by finishing 8th at the World Rowing Championships. His crew finished 11th at the 2012 London Games before Chris took a break from the sport.

He returned with two oars rather than one in 2014 in the men’s quadruple sculls before teaming up with Robbie Manson in the men’s double in 2015. The duo came home with a bronze medal from the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France, and therefore qualified the boat for Rio in 2016 where the double finished 11th.

In 2017 Chris linked up with John Storey in the men’s double scull. The duo went on to become the most dominant crew of the 2017 international season, remaining unbeaten and returning home from the Sarasota Rowing World Championships as World Champions. In 2018 the same double finished with a bronze medal at the 2018 Rowing World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and in 2019 qualified the boat for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

After a postponed 2020 Olympic Games, Chris Harris teamed up with new crew mate Jack Lopas where the crew finished 8th at what would be Chris’s third and final Olympic Games.

Throughout his rowing career, Chris has pursued a Bachelor of Engineering with honours from Massey University and works as an engineer at Wilkinson Transport Engineers. Chris and his partner Gemma welcomed a baby boy, Hunter, in 2019, and have recently added to their family with the arrival of Charlotte in 2021.

Rowing NZ would like to wish Chris all the best with his future endeavours, and congratulate him on an amazing career.