Obituary – Rainer Empacher

We pay tribute to Rainer Empacher, who sadly passed away on 22 October at the age of 58


Rainer Empacher, of Empacher rowing boats passed away on 22 October at the age of 58. We pay tribute to Rainer Empacher.

As one of the world’s leading boat builders, Empacher’s distinctive yellow racing shells are synonymous with so many of Great Britain’s historic victories on the international stage.

A family run business based in Germany, brothers Rainer and Helmut inherited the company over 30 years ago and have worked closely with British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team since 2001.

Always willing to listen, Rainer was a natural innovator and found ways to provide practical solutions to new ideas and concepts.

Alongside his brother, Rainer was always there with his unique blend of knowledge and experience to help teams prepare boats for major races, particularly in the run up to Olympic Games.

Together, they have been a regular fixture at the major international regattas, and have travelled the world to support the rowing community.

On Rainer’s passing, Jurgen Grobler Chief Coach to the GB Rowing Team’s men’s squad said: “Rainer, and the wider Empacher family, have served British Rowing very well over the past two decades. He was a good partner to us, refreshing in his approach to understanding new concepts and finding practical solutions. He will be missed around the boat park.”

Sir David Tanner, former Performance Director of British Rowing added: “Rainer has been a wonderful friend and support for the GB Rowing Team for so many years – a friendly face at every international event, an expert help when equipment needed fixing and always a provider of a good coffee to a needy PD or coach!  And with his brother Helmut, Rainer has been the constructor and producer of bespoke Empacher racing boats of top quality for the Team, without question ‘helping to make the boats go faster’.  He’ll be remembered warmly and sorely missed in GB and across World Rowing.”