British athlete, rowing champion, double Olympic gold medallist and prospective Conservative politician, James Cracknell has an estimated net worth of £2 million.
Born on 5 May, 1972 in Sutton, James Cracknell began rowing whilst attending the independent Kingston Grammar School. He rowed at the Junior World Championships in 1989 and won his first gold medal in 1990. In 1993, Cracknell graduated from the University of Reading with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours in Human Geography, followed by a PGCE at the Institute of Education and a Master of Science (MSc) from Brunel University in 1999.
With degrees in Human Geography, how did James Cracknell become a rowing champion? Find out how he made his millions.
Moving from the junior class into the seniors, Cracknell made numerous appearances in the World Rowing Championships. He qualified in the double scull for the 1996 Games and in 1997; he won a seat in the men’s coxless fours, with Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and Tim Foster. With this crew, he won the rowing World Championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and finally the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
In August 2000, the month prior to winning gold in Sydney, he took part in a 3-part BBC documentary entitled Gold Fever. This followed the coxless four team in the years leading up to the Olympics, including video diaries recording the highs and lows in their quest for gold.
Cracknell swapped from rowing on strokeside to bowside to join Pinsent in the coxless pairs and the pair won the World Championships in 2001, when they also won the coxed pairs. In 2004, with a new coxless team of four, Cracknell and his team won the gold medal in Athens in the 2004 Summer Olympics, beating world champions Canada by 0.08s.
He came second in the pairs division of the 2005–2006 Atlantic Rowing Race in “Spirit of EDF Energy“, partnered by Ben Fogle. They made landfall in Antigua at 07.13 GMT on 19 January 2006, a crossing time of 49 days, 19 hours and 8 minutes. In February 2006, he announced his decision to retire from competitive rowing. Shortly after, Through Hell and High Water, a BBC television programme of Cracknell and Fogle’s experience of the Atlantic race, was aired. The pair wrote a book called The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World’s Toughest Rowing Race, about their trip.
Cracknell ran the London Marathon on 23 April 2006 in 3 hours.
He has presented sport on ITV and Channel 4. He covered The Boat Race 2007 with Mark Durden-Smith for ITV and is the presenter of ITV’s coverage of the British Superbike Championship. He is also the main presenter of Channel 4’s Red Bull Air Race World Series coverage. He is a contracted columnist with The Daily Telegraph and writes about various topics including sport, motoring, gardening, cookery and more.
In July 2008 Cracknell competed in the European Triathlon Championships for GBR for his age group and in November 2009 he took part in the New York Marathon. In December 2008 he set off yet again with former team-mate from the Atlantic Row, Ben Fogle, and Dr Ed Coats, this time to take part in the inaugural Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race. The team traversed the 473.6 miles and came second. The BBC aired a 5 x 1-hour, prime-time Sunday night series of the adventure, On Thin Ice, in June–July 2009. The series was accompanied by a self-penned book of the race, Race to the Pole (MacMillan).
In April 2010 Cracknell became the highest placed Briton ever in the 25-year history of the Marathon des Sables, finishing 12th. His exploits were filmed for a Discovery Channel documentary The Toughest Race on Earth which was aired in October 2010. This highest ever placing was beaten in 2013 by another Briton, Danny Kendall, who finished 10th.
Cracknell competed in the Yukon Arctic Ultra. He finished second in the 430-mile race across the frozen Alaskan countryside, beaten only by British cyclist Alan Sheldon. Cracknell’s participation in the race was filmed for the documentary, The Coldest Race on Earth, which was aired on the Discovery Channel. He ran the 2012 London Marathon in just under three hours, becoming one of the fastest celebrities.
A prominent supporter of the NOtoAV campaign in 2011 Alternative Vote referendum, Cracknell was announced, on 2 June 2013, as a Conservative candidate for South West England and Gibraltar in European Parliament election of 2014, however, the Conservative party list was not elected.