Three years on from GB’s first lightweight coxless four silver medal, a completely different crew took silver again at the 1989 World Rowing Championships in Bled.
This superb result was, sadly, the only high point that year. In fact, they were the only GB women’s crew to qualify for an ‘A’ final: as so often happened the openweights squad experienced a definite post-Olympic slump.
Fiona ‘Flo’ Johnston
As a tall teenager, Flo was told by “an old bufty,” who spotted her on a towpath watching her brother race, that she should try rowing herself. Having got into it in a relatively modest way, in 1984 she was totally inspired by seeing Steve Redgrave on an open-topped bus tour of her (and his) home town of Marlow after his coxed four won GB’s first Olympic Gold medal in rowing since 1948, and decided she HAD to go to an Olympics herself.
And so she did. But as well as representing GB at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, at three World Championships, and the 1986 Commonwealth Games (where she won silver in the pairs), her wider contribution to rowing includes co-founding the much-loved rowing kit business Rock the Boat, coaching juniors at Guildford RC, and painting a stunning set of portraits of international rowers.
Caroline represented GB as a lightweight single and double sculler for three years from 1987-1989 despite living in Rome all of that time.
Rowing Story celebrates its ‘page centenary’
Rowing Story exists to give GB women’s rowing it’s history (whether it wants it or not), so we don’t like to bang on about ourselves, but we hope you won’t mind us saying a little “woohoo” that it now contains 100 year-by-year reports, biographies of women who have represented GB, and blogs about some side stories. There is, however, so much more to come!