Born and brought up in Nottingham, Rod started sailing on the River Trent. His passion for the sport of sailing took him to an urban sailing centre in North London and then to the National Sailing Centre in Cowes in 1975, where he became chief instructor four years later.
His reputation for motivating and encouraging people led to his recruitment as Crew Boss for his winning Admiral's Cup campaign in 1981 on board Yeoman.
Rod's talents came to the attention of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in the early 1980's. He was appointed coach for the Olympic team and led them into the Los Angeles games in 1984, the Seoul Games in 1988 and the Barcelona Games in 1992 before being appointed overall team manager for the Atlanta Games in 1996. He was appointed RYA Racing Manager and Performance Director in 1997.
Rod was the architect of the RYA World Class Performance programme for sailing that has successfully attracted vital funds from the National Lottery to the sport. He can, with some pride, reflect in the golden glow achieved by the British Sailing Team at both the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.