Amazing Women Masters Rower:
Debbie Dodenhoff

What rowing moment you are most proud of?
The ability to row such a prestigious, international race, the Head of the Charles as a “40 something” year old mom!!

How has rowing shaped you?
In 1995 my rowing career began with a summer stint with “Summer Crew” with Middletown Park & Rec program and has blossomed into a passion that has brought lifelong friendships, mental and physical fitness, skill, and the ability to compete!!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome to row your best?
I am one cog in this wheel of 8 individuals, but every one of us must be on our game technically to have a successful row. This sport is so much about each rower being technically in sync!!!

What are the biggest life lessons you’ve learned from rowing?
Good sportsmanship, patience, teamwork, always a sense of humor, humility and respect for teammates, coaches and coxswains!!

What inspires you to keep rowing?
Rowing has brought me through my thirties, forties, fifties……now early 60’s!! Thank God, I am healthy, strong and fit for my age. That is a blessing!!!!!! Let’s not forget the wonderful community of friends!!

What do you like most about rowing a single or with others?
I am a sweep rower and really enjoy the camaraderie!!!

What are you currently working towards as a rower? as a competitor?
I transitioned from competition to recreational rowing a number of years back to have more time to do other things. I always strive to row technically well!!! I want to be an asset in the boat!!

What advice do you have for other women rowers?
Have a sense of humor and go out there and be the best you can be!!!

If you’d like to share your story in our “Amazing Women Masters Rowers” series, please email

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Author: Vreni Hommes

Why We Row celebrates the unique lives and incredible stories of Women Masters Rowers.