The arrival of Boat Race coach Dan Topolski as the Women’s Squad Co-Ordinator and Coach for the 1979 season breathed a new energy into the GB women’s rowing team, which had only been a double scull the previous year.
An eight, coxed four, double scull and Beryl Mitchell in the single raced at the 1979 World Rowing Championships in Bled – the largest British women’s contingent yet at the Worlds.
One of the team in Bled was Gill Parker (née Webb) who had rowed in the coxed four at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 – the first that included women’s events. She also represented GB at the 1975 World Championships, before going on to be a very successful high-performance club coach at Lea RC.
In 1975 she was the second fastest woman at the Scullers Head… in an aluminium sculling boat (filled with polystyrene).