The all-new lightweight four won an impressive silver medal at the World Championships in 1995, as did 1993 World Champions Jane Hall and Alison ‘Wilma’ Brownless in the coxless pair (a new event). This was Wilma’s fifth World medal, making her Bitain’s most successful oarswoman
In some ways, this was practically ‘business as usual’ for the lightweight team who had – impressively – been on the podium no fewer than 12 times in the 11 years since lightweight women’s events had first been included in the World Championships programme. But in the 21 years since women first rowed at the World Championships up to 1995, GB had won only two openweight medals. Lack of funding was often cited as a major contributory factor, especially for the eight, and in 1995, this situation was radically transformed through a generous sponsorship deal provided by XP plc (Xperts in Power) whose chairman, Larry Tracey, a former GB squad triallist, was a passionate supporter of the sport.
Hs support couldn’t come a moment too soon because in 1995 the World Championships also served for the first time as a qualifying regatta for the following year’s Olympic Games.
The photo at the top of this page is from Miriam Luke’s personal collection.