The lightweight coxless four were the first British women to become World Champions in a sweep boat when they won gold in the rain in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1993 in a masterful display of rowing. It had been eight long years since GB women’s first gold when Lin Clark and Beryl Crockford had won the lightweight double sculls in 1985.
1993 was a less good year for the rest of the team, though, and the openweight group was on the usual post-Olympic downwards slump with few coaches and even less funding.
Sue learned to row at Thames RC, where she remained a member throughout her international career. She represented GB five times from 1988 to 1993, winning two silver medals – one in the lightweight coxless four in 1989 and the other in the lightweight single scull in 1992. She also raced in the women’s sculls at Henley Royal Regatta in 1993, the first year it was run as an open event over the full course.
Taking 12 years from when she first got in a boat to racing at her first World Championships, Fiona’s route to representing GB was longer than most people’s but included rowing for Oxford in the Boat Race twice as well as representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in 1986. She went on to row for GB four times from 1990 to 1993, including at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 when she had a torrid year suffering from an undiagnosed illness. She also coached rowing for many years a a teacher at Westminster School.