Frances Houghton

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Frances Houghton
Rowing at the 2012 Summer Olympics 9174 W quadruple sculls heat2 GBR NZL.jpg
Houghton in the Quadruple scull at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Full name Frances Julia P. Houghton
Nationality British
Born (1980-09-19) 19 September 1980 (age 36)
Oxford, England
Alma mater King's College London
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Country  United Kingdom
Sport Rowing
Partner Debbie Flood – 1998, 1999
Sarah Winckless – 2000
Debbie Flood – 2001,2002
Winckless, Mowbray, Laverick – 2003
Mowbray, Flood, Romero – 2004
Romero, Winckless, Grainger – 2005
Flood, Winckless, Grainger – 2006
Grainger, Flood, Vernon – 2007, 2008
Flood, Rodford, Vernon – 2010
Wilson, Flood, Rodford – 2012
Victoria Meyer-Laker – 2013
Updated on 16 August 2013.

Frances Julia P. Houghton (born 19 September 1980) is an English professional rower and a member of the Great Britain Rowing Team. She has been World Champion in the Quadruple scull on four occasions and won Silver Medals at the 2004, 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Houghton was born in Oxford, and started her rowing at the Dragon School, before moving on to The King's School, Canterbury. She then graduated from King's College London in 2003 with a BA in Hispanic Studies, having taken a sabbatical to prepare for the Olympic Games in Sydney.

Rowing career[edit]

As of 2013 Houghton is the longest serving member of the British Rowing Team, having first made the Junior team in 1995. She finished fourth in the quadruple scull in her first World Rowing Junior Championships in 1996 at Strathclyde Country Park when she was 15.[1]

Early years[edit]

Houghton won Britain's first ever Junior women's sculling medal along with partner Debbie Flood, a Bronze Medal at the 1998 World Junior championships in the Double sculls at Ottensheim, Austria[3]

In November she won the junior title at the British Indoor Rowing Championships, where she set a new junior British record. She was also the first Junior girl to break both the 7-minute and 6-minute 50 seconds barriers on the ergometer.[1]

In 1999 Houghton and Flood won Gold in the Double sculls at the World Under 23 Championships, Britain's first sculling medal at this level.[1][3]

In February she became the World Junior Indoor Rowing Champion at the championships in Boston, USA.[1]


Houghton won the GB Rowing Senior Trials (2000–04).[1]

Houghton and Sarah Winckless finished ninth in the double sculls at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.[1] At the 2001 World Rowing Championships in Lucerne she finished seventh in the double sculls with Debbie Flood.[1]

Whilst living and working in Seville as part of her degree course, she competed in the 2002 World Rowing Championships, finishing fourth in the double sculls with Debbie Flood.[1]

Houghton finished fourth in the quadruple scull at the 2003 World Rowing Championships at Idroscalo, Milan, Italy, partnered by Sarah Winckless, Alison Mowbray and Elise Laverick.[1]

Houghton won gold medals in the 2004 World Rowing Cups at both Lake Malta Poznań, Poland and Rotsee Lucerne, Switzerland, partnered by Alison Mowbray, Debbie Flood and Rebecca Romero – the first British women's quad to beat the Germans in this event.[1]

At the Athens Olympic games she won a silver medal in the quadruple sculls, beaten by the German boat. She was teamed with Alison Mowbray, Debbie Flood and Rebecca Romero.[1]

In 2005, Houghton moved to the 3 seat of the GB women's quadruple scull, where she won the first of her four world championships. She was partnered by Rebecca Romero, Sarah Winckless and Katherine Grainger.[1]

They won gold medals at the World Rowing Cups at both Eton Dorney and Munich, plus a silver medal in Lucerne. At the World Rowing Championships in Japan in September they won gold.[1]

In the 2006 World Rowing Cup series Houghton was teamed with Debbie Flood, Sarah Winckless and Katherine Grainger in the quadruple sculls. They achieved a clean sweep of gold medals at Poznan, Munich and Lucerne.[1]

In 2006, Houghton won the second of her four world championships in the GB women's quadruple scull, partnered by Flood, Winckless and Grainger. They finished second to the Russian crew who were retrospectively disqualified in 2007 for drug offences.[1]

In the 2007 World Rowing Cup series the quadruple scull team of Houghton, Katherine Grainger, Debbie Flood, and Annabel Vernon won gold at Linz, silver at Amsterdam and gold at Lucerne, thus winning the overall quad title for the series, then became World Champion for the third time in the quad

At the 2007 World Rowing Championships in Munich Houghton won the third of her four world titles in the GB women's quadruple scull, partnered by Katherine Grainger, Debbie Flood, and Annabel Vernon.[1]

In the 2008 World Rowing Cup series, the quadruple scull team of Houghton, Grainger, Flood, and Vernon won Gold in Munich and bronze in Lucerne.[1]

At the Beijing Summer Olympics Houghton, Grainger, Flood, and Vernon won silver after being overhauled by the Chinese crew.[1]

2010 onwards[edit]

Having had a year off in 2009, she returned in 2010 to take her fourth World Championship Gold in the women's quadruple sculls, this time with Debbie Flood, Beth Rodford, and Annabel Vernon.[1][3]

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London the women's quadruple scull team of Houghton, Melanie Wilson, Debbie Flood and Beth Rodford finished 6th.[1]

In 2013, she teamed up with Victoria Meyer-Laker in the double sculls, taking Bronze in the World Rowing Cup at Penrith Lakes in Sydney, Australia, followed in June by Gold at Eton Dorney, London. At the third round in Lucerne they finished fourth.[3]

In July 2013 at the Henley Royal Regatta she teamed up with Polly Swann, Victoria Meyer-Laker and Helen Glover to win the Princess Grace Challenge Cup for women's quadruple scull. Competing as Leander Club and Minerva Bath Rowing Club they completed the final course in 6 minutes 59 seconds.[4]


External links[edit]