There can’t be many rowers in the UK who don’t own or at least haven’t seen a Rock-the-Boat t-shirt designed by Annabel at some point in the last 30 years.
But despite that fabulous brand-awareness, it’s mainly only those of us of a certain age who are aware that the reason she founded the much-loved company, in the days before Lottery funding, was to be able to earn a living doing flexible hours around trying to train full time, which she’d realised was the only way ahead. Yes, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, GB rowers had to flog t-shirts to be able to represent their country.
On the water, Annabel and Ali Gill were the first GB women’s double to make an Olympic final, at Barcelona in 1992, where they finished fifth after a string of difficulties and anguish dating back to Lucerne in 1991.
Off the water, Annabel has been a passionate campaigner on a range of issues, loves introducing youngsters to the sport of rowing, and has continued to work as an artist. Her latest exhibition is on right now at the Riverside Gallery in Barnes (see below)!