Nicholas Elkington


Year of Birth 1997

Hometown Wimbledon, London

Nationality British/German

College Linacre

Undergrad/Graduate PhD

Year 1st

What are you studying? DPhil in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Over the course of my DPhil I will work on two international space missions. The team I am a part of in Oxford will be providing one of two instruments that will be sent to orbit the moon as part of NASA’s Lunar Trailblazer mission.

Future ambitions? I have a few years of my DPhil before me and I don’t yet know what I want to do after.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? As an undergrad I found that the best way was to use rowing to enhance my academic work. The structure of rowing would break up my days into sections that I could plan to fill with work. Knowing that rowing was a privilege I could only enjoy if I got my work done was a key motivation for me.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started when I was 13. My brother and sister had both enjoyed rowing at school and my sister and father both rowed for Cambridge.

What was your first club? King’s College School Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? I enjoy spending time and training with people aiming to be the best in the world. Their attitude is infectious and it pushes me to be better at everything I do.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I rowed for five years at school and this is my fifth year trialling with the OUBC.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Yes I was in Isis in 2018 and 2019 and selected for Isis in 2020.

Your favourite race so far? Our fixture against Brookes in 2020. Both crews were very strong and quite evenly matched which made for a great race in biblical Tideway conditions.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? No I just try to enjoy being with my teammates so we can take confidence from each other.

Your sporting idol? Pete Reed. I admire him for his career choice, his commitment to rowing and his integrity. Everything I have heard about him as a rower speaks of his exceptional mental fortitude and his sportsmanship. In the last year as he has adapted to new challenges this has been evidenced further.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Pete Reed for the above reasons.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I love the tough sessions. If it wasn’t tough why would I want to do it?

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I am interested in ancient and military history.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I remind myself of how great it is to row and race in the summer.