The results at the 1998 World Championships had been excellent. Sadly, though, it was far from a case of onwards and upwards for the GB women’s rowing team in 1999.
At the World Championships at St Catharines in Canada, only the lightweight pair medalled (despite catching weed on their fin), and although the openweight double, quad and pair all qualified for the 2000 Olympic Games, the pair was the only one of the Olympic-class boats to reach the final. The eight wasn’t even selected to race.
More positively, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton won the double sculls at the under-23 Nations Cup, and all the British crews which competed at the Commonwealth Regatta hugely enjoyed the experience despite dreadfully windy conditions.
The photo at the top of this page shows three of the England Four Lightweight Four which raced at the Commonwealth Regatta, and is from Naomi Ashcroft’s personal collection.