7 February 2023

1970s rowing revival

The 1976 Montreal Olympic Silver Medal winning Eight with Dick Lester at Stroke and Tim Crooks at Six

Seventy people gathered to hear about the 1970s British men’s rowing revival at a supper talk on Friday 3rd February. Members and their guests were entertained before the supper and during the serving of the courses by four Leander Members who had each lived through this challenging, but pivotal decade.

Mike Sweeney acted as Master of Ceremonies, getting the ball rolling by recounting his involvement with the GB Selection Board through to the Montreal Olympics in 1976. During this period, a National Squad was formed for the first time, supported by a three-year sponsorship deal from Leisure Sport. In the autumn of 1973, the Selection Board gave the Chief National Coach – Bob Janousek – the full responsibility for picking and then coaching the 12 best oarsmen.

Tim Crooks picked up the story with tales of his journey through to rowing at 6 in the 1974 British Eight at the World Championship in Lucerne. Against all expectations the crew won a brilliant Silver Medal.

Dick Lester continued the story, joining the crew in 1975 and going on to stroking the 8 to a fantastic Silver Medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Finally, Charlie Wiggin told the tale of his journey with the British squad through to winning a Bronze Medal at the 1908 Olympics in Moscow.

Another successful Leander supper evening!

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