Dark blue and light blue

Get your Boat Race fix here!

The Boat Race, which is actually a series of four races between Oxford and Cambridge crews (men’s and women’s first and second boats), was scheduled to have taken place this Sunday. Inevitably and rightly, it was cancelled because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

These private matches are not a key topic here on RowingStory.com, which focuses on the history of GB women’s international rowing, but they certainly play their part in it as a number of those who represented their university went on to represent their country at senior level too. Or, as you might say, who went from blue to red, white and blue.

So if you’re feeling in need of a boat race fix over this ‘No Boat Race’ weekend, here are the biographies of just some of the women who have done both.


Pauline Janson (Blue boat 1978-1979 | GB 1980-1982)

Sue Brown (Blue boat 1980 (women) and 1981-1982 (men) | GB 1980-1981): Sue, the first woman to cox the men’s Boat Race, was also the first woman to win a Blue and represent GB in the same year

Fiona Freckleton (Blue boat 1982-1983 | GB 1990-1993)

Kathy Talbot (Isis 1983 (men) | GB 1984): Kathy was the first woman to cox the Oxford men’s reserve crew, Isis

Tish Reid (Osiris 1985, Blue boat 1986| GB 1985-1987, 1990, 1992)

Ali Gill (Osiris 1986, Blue boat 1987 | GB 1988-1992, 1995-1996)

Annabel Eyres (Oxford Bue 1987-1988) | GB 1989-1992)


Liz Lorrimer (Blue boat 1969 | GB 1974): Liz was the first blue to row for GB

Helen McFie (Blue boat 1971-1972 | GB 1975)

Penny Sweet (Blue boat 1979 | GB 1980)

Nicola Boyes (Blue boat 1974-1975 | GB 1977, 1979-1980 and 1983)

Kate Panter (Blue boat 1982-1984 | GB 1983-1984)

Kate Grose (Blue boat 1984 | GB 1986-1990, 1992)

More soon!

Biohgraphies of more GB blues/half blues, including Annamarie Phelps and Trisha Corless, are coming soon here on RowingStory.com. You can sign up here to get email notifications of these and other new content.

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