Rickett was born in Paddington, London. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1930 he was a member of the winning Cambridge boat in the Boat Race and won Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta partnering Walter Prideaux. He was in the winning Cambridge boat in the Boat Race again in 1931 and in 1932 when he was president. The 1932 crew won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley, rowing as Leander Club. They were subsequently chosen to represent Great Britain at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where they came fourth in the eights.
Rickett maintained a strong interest in the sport and umpired the Boat Race in 1946. He became chairman of Henley Royal Regatta, and president of Leander Club. With Dickie Burnell, Rickett authored A Short History of Leander Club 1818–1968.
Rickett married Dorothy Barry daughter of E. O. Barry of Lower Kingswood, Surrey.
- Henley Royal Regatta Results of Final Races 1839–1939 Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Sports Reference Olympic Sports – Harold Rickett
- Queens Royal Surreys Obituaries
- The Boat Race Race Report 1946 Archived 12 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- John Durack, George Gilbert, John Marks The bumps: an account of the Cambridge University bumping races, 1827–1999 The Bumps, 2000 ISBN 0-9538475-0-0 ISBN 978-0-9538475-0-1