Charles Rivett-Carnac

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameCharles James•Rivett-Carnac
Used nameCharles•Rivett-Carnac
Born18 February 1853 in Brahmapur, Ganjam, Orissa (IND)
Died9 September 1935 in Saint Helier (JER)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Charles Rivett-Carnac came from a family that had prospered in India for generations. Indeed, the family was so well known that in The Tomb of his Ancestors Rudyard Kipling wrote, “If there were but a single loaf of bread in all India, it would be divided equally between the Plowdens, the Trevors, the Beadons and the Rivett-Carnacs.” After schooling at Rugby, Charles returned to India to join the Civil Service but he left the ICS in 1897 and was appointed Accountant General to Burma. The following year, his services were placed at the disposal of the King of Siam by the British Government and for seven years he was the Financial Advisor to the Siamese Government. On his return to England in 1905, he continued to serve Siam as their Agent in Europe. His first wife, a daughter of Colonel JH Ogilvie of the Indian Army, died in 1905, and he later married Frances Greenstock. At the 1908 Olympics, Charles was the owner and helmsman of Heroine, which was the only entry in the 7-metre class, and with his wife, Frances Rivett-Carnac, as one of the crew members the Rivett-Carnacs became the first husband and wife in Olympic history to win gold medals. Charles Rivett-Carnac is the oldest Briton, at 55, to have won an Olympic gold medal for yachting. His great granddaughter Cleone Patricia “Cleo” Rivett-Carnac won a bronze medal in javelin throw representing New Zealand in the 1950 British Empire Games.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR Charles Rivett-Carnac
7 metres, Open (Olympic) Heroine 1 Gold

Olympic family relations