Annamarie is possibly best known today in rowing circles as the Chair of British Rowing from 2013-2018, a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta, and now Chair-elect of the newly combined Cambridge University Boat Club.
However, before moving into management and governance roles she had a stellar career on the water, becoming World Champion in the lightweight coxless four in 1993 and winning three other World Championships silver medals. Dot Blackie, one of her crewmates in the 1996 Olympic eight describes her as, “Technically by far the best person in the boat, in my opinion.”
All of this suggests a perfect path to success, but she had to get over some huge hurdles along the way, from not initially being selected to row in Blondie when she was a student at Cambridge, to being knocked over by a lorry before the 1993 World Championships, and then contracting over-training syndrome before the Atlanta Olympic Games.
The photo at the top of this page shows (from left) Alison Brownless, Tonia Williams, coach Bill Mason, Annamarie and Jane Hall after winning the lightweight coxless fours at the World Rowing Championships in 1993 and is from Alison Purnell’s personal collection.