International Women’s Day 2017: A Rowing Viewpoint

An early attempt at a non-patronising image of a female rower. Of course, we could debate why a ‘bachelor’ is thought of as a positive thing and ‘spinster’ a negative…

8 March 2017

Tim Koch writes:

Today, 8 March, is International Women’s Day. Despite the fact that the most powerful person in the world, The President of the United States, has been quoted as saying that ‘There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do’, it has still been felt necessary to hold the annual worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements, from the political to the social, while calling for gender equality. Rowing has mirrored the prejudice and the progress that women have respectively suffered and enjoyed throughout the years and here are some images to illustrate this.


The late Beryl Crockford.

and Patronised

A cartoon from a rowing magazine of the 1970s.


Auriol Kensington RC at Henley Women’s Regatta, 2015.

and Country

Members of the Canadian Squad rowing as Western Rowing Club at Henley Royal Regatta, 2015.


From the ‘Codex Manesse’ which was produced between 1310 and 1340. I claim that this is the earliest existing image of a woman rowing.

and Modern

The Women’s Wingfields 2013, Imogen Walsh at Hammersmith Bridge. This is a favourite picture of mine, making its third appearance on HTBS. Picture: British Rowing.


Amy Gentry OBE, a passionate advocate of women’s rowing from the 1920s to the 1970s.

and Persevering

Cambridge hit rough water in the 2016 Women’s Boat Race.


Paralympian, Naomi Riches during her epic 165 mile non-stop Great Thames Row.  Picture: Peter Knowles @ukrower.

and Dejection

Henley Women’s Regatta, 2016. The final of the Elite Lightweight Double Sculls: Wallingford beat Exeter University/Edinburgh University.


and Double

Leander win Senior Double Sculls, Henley Women’s Regatta, 2016.


and Brown

Sue Brown who, in 1981, became first women to cox in the Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race.


‘Rowing’ magazine’s attempt at complementing a woman, 1960.

and Tsarist

8 March 2017 is also the 100th Anniversary of the start of the Russian Revolution. Here, The Tsar, his wife and two of his daughters enjoy a row in 1909.


  1. Dear Goran, I hope you do not mind that I mentioned this excellent post for International Women’s day on the facebook page for cuwbchistory. Thank you for it. I really enjoyed it.

    Jane Kingsbury

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.