When Lake Bagsvaerd near Copenhagen was used for the 1971 Women’s European Rowing Championships the results were badly skewed by windy conditions combined with where the course sits on this natural lake. Sadly, the lessons of history were not learned and the venue was chosen for the 1987 World Championships when exactly the same thing happened. In the men’s races, some refused to finish, while others swapped medals after the awards ceremony in acts of sportsmanship. It hasn’t been used for a Worlds since.
Although their medal expectations were scotched by the conditions, it’s impressive that all three boats (coxless four, double and single scull) in the GB women’s lightweight team reached the finals for the first time since women’s lightweight events had started in 1984.
Neither of the two boats in the openweight team made their finals, though; the eight increasingly bickered, and probably didn’t achieve its potential quite apart from the weather.
Meet the rowers
Crews are made up of real, individual people, all of whom have their own rowing story to tell. Find out more about three rowers from the 1980s in these recently-added biographies:
Judith Burne: One of several oarswomen at the time who raced first at openweight and then at lightweight, Judith rowed in the rather unsuccessful ‘development’ eight in 1985 before making the huge step up to a World silver medal in the lightweight four in 1986. Read more >>
Pauline Peel: Pauline rowed at the first World Championships that included women’s events at the tender age of 17, at the first Olympic Games that included women’s events in 1976, and was in the first GB women’s boat to reach a World Championships final (with Astrid Ayling in the double) in 1977. Read more >>
By the way…
At over 260,000 words, RowingStory.com is now a bigger read than the longest of the Harry Potter books, although it’s definitely lacking in magic wands.
The photo at the top of this page is © John Shore (adjusted).