Despite the best efforts of the rowers involved, and the late-formed coxed four setting a new British record in their heat, a host of factors led to the GB women’s team’s results at the 1983 World Championships being disappointing overall with none of the three British boats – the eight, the four, and Beryl Mitchell in the single scull – reaching the main finals. For the first time in many years no sculling crews were even entered.
Problems with ‘the system’ had been identified by a panel of enquiry after the 1982 World Championships, and solutions proposed, but there were no actual changes during the course of the year. And as is well known in sport, if you keep doing the same thing, you tend to keep getting the same results.
To make matters worse, the whole future of rowing women’s rowing at the Olympics was in doubt because of low entries at the World Championships. So if nothing else, GB’s persistence in entering eights at least helped to secure the sport’s place at future Games.
The junior pair of Sue Clark and Sam Wensley achieved GB junior women’s rowing’s best result to date, coming fourth.
The photo right at the top of this page is © John Shore and shows the GB women’s four (in the white boat) in the petite final at the 1983 World Championships.