Fan’s Choice Masters Athlete of the Year Barbara Hogan Aims to Inspire All Ages

by Jules Zane | Nov 19, 2014
When it comes to rowing highlights, Carnegie Lake Rowing Association’s Barbara Hogan has a lot to choose from.


 Barbara Hogan (second from right) with teammates at the 2014 Head of the Schuylkill Regatta.

When it comes to rowing highlights, Carnegie Lake Rowing Association’s Barbara Hogan has a lot to choose from.

With three gold medals won at the 2014 USRowing Masters National Championships, gold medals in the single and quad, and silver in the double, at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, two gold and a bronze at the Masters National Head Race Championships and a bronze medal at the C.R.A.S.H.-B Sprints, her season was one long highlight.

For all her accomplishments, and for her contributions to rowing and her club, Hogan is the deserving recipient of the 2014 Fan’s Choice Masters Athlete of the Year and will be honored Thursday at the Golden Oars Awards Dinner at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

“The US Rowing Masters National Championships in Grand Rapids and Augusta and, of course, the Head of the Charles were highlights of the season, but my fondest memory was the gold medal in the Women's Veteran Quad at the Head of the Schuylkill last month,” she said.

“Sharing that victory with my Vesper friends for a third consecutive year was the pinnacle of the season for me. I love racing the single scull, but nothing compares to being part of a crew that rows as one.”

Hogan said her rowing success, whether in the single or not, is in large part possible due to the support from her husband Spurge. “Everyone who knows Spurge through rowing will concur that he is our most dedicated, generous and helpful supporter. Besides, it was he who registered me for every competition including CRASH-B’s, so I had no choice but to follow through.”

However, it’s also her training program and planning for next year that keeps her focused. “During the winter, I logged more than one million meters on the erg, and since May 1, I've trained an average of five days a week, logging another million plus meters on the water. I've also had the benefit of excellent coaching, at Princeton, in Philadelphia, and at Craftsbury.”

And she has no intention of backing off. “After the Turkey Row on Lake Carnegie on Thanksgiving morning, it'll be back on the erg and in the tanks at Princeton to continue my quest for a hammer at CRASH-B’s, even though at 69 I'll be at the top of my age group. I'm looking forward to moving into the H Masters category next year.  

“Highlights of the 2015 season will include competing in composite boats, both sweep and sculling, with the Masters International team at the FISA World Masters Regatta in Hazewinkel, Belgium, next September. Spurge and I are also joining Vesper Boat Club and while in Belgium we plan to participate in the celebration of the joint 150th anniversaries of Vesper and Royal Sport Nautique de Bruxelles in Brussels. In November, I plan to compete in the 11k Silver Skiff International Regatta in Turin, Italy.  It should be another exciting year in rowing!”

Hogan is also actively involved in teaching people of all ages how good rowing can be for you, both physically and mentally.

“For several years I have been involved with the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association’s comprehensive Learn-to-Row program. It has given me the opportunity to share my love of the sport with people who are new to rowing. My message to them is that rowing is a sport for all ages and it is a sport of unexpected benefits.

"I like to tell them that during my Learn-to-Row class in 2006, I turned 61 years old. I started participating in sweep races the following year and was 66 before I began racing singles sculls. Not only was I already a ‘veteran’ when I started out, but I had never before been involved in athletic competition of any kind.
“Most people start rowing expecting physical benefits. It's true that rowing regularly helps you get into shape, but rowing provides so many unexpected benefits, including friendships bonded, challenges met, goals achieved. Not the least of these benefits is experiencing the beauty and serenity of nature, especially when out on the water at dawn.”

And when the sport seems tougher than before her motto is, don’t ever give up. “My advice is always stick with rowing. Yes, it's hard. Yes, you think you will never be any good at it. Yes, it might mean a big change in your sleep schedule. Stick with rowing, I tell them, and it will change who you think you are.”
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