The 1996 Olympic rowing regatta in Atlanta were the first where crews had to qualify to be able to take part but only Guin Batten in the single scull had managed to do so at the first opportunity (at the World Championships in 1995). For the eight, the pair and the lightweight double, their year was dominated by the intial hurdle of the final qualifying regatta in June before they coud even dare to have Olympic dreams.
The lightweight crew that was eventually selected – former World Champions in the four, Jane Hall and Alison ‘Wilma’ Brownless – also had to get to grips with switching their focus from sweep rowing to sculling.
All in all it was an exeptionally competitive year, which ended with two silver medals but a lot of other disappointment.
Calling all senior GB women rowing internationals!
I’m always keen to fill in as many pieces of the ‘jigsaw’ of GB women’s international rowing as possible, so if you’ve rowed for GB or you have archival material or memories about someone else who who has, please do get in touch!
The photo at the top of this page showing the GB women’s eight at the 1996 Olympic Games is from Annamarie Phelps’ personal collection.