Boat Naming History

ARC has named many of the boats in its fleet. Boat naming is usually reserved for individuals who have made a significant contribution to the club and the community it serves, and to the sport of rowing. This contribution can be monetary but more often derives from the personal dedication and support the individual provides to the club. The paragraphs below describe some of the most notable boat naming rationales.

Lenore Kuwik

Lenore Kuwik came to Albany Rowing Center in 2001 as a Learn to Row participant. She enthusiastically embraced both the sport and the club, serving on the Board of Directors as the club Secretary for several years. She spearheaded an effort to strengthen the organizational aspects of the club, such as strategic planning and preparation of policies and procedures. Lenore was a fierce competitor on the water, as well as a driving force in the club's fundraising efforts, making it her personal goal to bring in $10,000 of sponsorships each year. She died in June 2007 from a rare form of cancer. As a demonstration of her love for ARC, she bequeathed money to the club to purchase a new pair/double. This new boat was named "Heron", at her request. In honor of Lenore and her dedication to the club, one of the Racer Fours was named for her and christened by her husband Frank in a ceremony at the boathouse.


Assiduity is the motto of the City of Albany. It means persistent application or diligence; unflagging effort. It is also an appropriate motto for competitive rowing which requires unflagging effort and persistence to cross the finish line in the fastest time possible. This boat was named Assiduity in recognition of ARC's connection to the City of Albany and its rowing community. A statue representing the founding of Albany is installed in Tricentennial Park, along with a statue of Mayor Thomas M. Whalen, III who had the park built to commemorate the City's tricentennial.

Mayor Thomas Whalen, III

Thomas M. Whalen, III was the mayor of Albany from 1983 to 1993. He was a rower himself, and was instrumental in promoting the sport in the Capital District. During his tenure, the Empire State Regatta was held on the Hudson River at the Corning Preserve. The current City of Albany Boat Shed was erected at the boat launch, and rowing clubs such as the Empire State Scullers, the Organization of Adirondack Rowers and Scullers, and the Albany Irish Rowing Club came into being. Each year at ARC's Head of the Hudson Regatta, the a trophy is awarded to the winner of the Men's doubles (2x) race in honor of Mayor Whalen who was a sculler and rowed his own double.

In September 2011, at a small ceremony after the 25th Head of the Hudson Regatta, the 1991 stern-coxed four "Thomas Whalen III" was rededicated. Junior Novice Coach Evan Bollin spent the summer of 2011 repairing, refurbishing and repainting the 20 year old boat that had not been used in five years, and was not seaworthy. The boat now looks almost new and was immediately put into service for the fall racing season. Long-time club member Phil Hansen prepared these words for the ceremony.

Betsy Owens

Betsy Owens was not an ARC rower. However, she was a kayaker, social worker, community advocate, Master Swimmer and an amazing organizer/fund raiser. But what Mrs. Owens was most proud of was her job as a parent to two young girls who wanted to row. It was through Betsy's efforts that the organization of the ARC Junior Program expanded significantly in the late 1990's. Through her continued dedication and vision, the number of junior rowers grew, the number of high schools represented by ARC increased, and the infrastructure of the ARC Board of Directors began to include youth and their parents.

As the founder of the Parents of Albany Rowing Kids (PARK), and subsequently through her intense involvement in all things ARC, she made a huge difference to the organization. By highlighting and developing Best Practices for ARC to include and encourage rowing for all ages, she expanded ARC's reach into the community. Betsy's legacy lives on in the boat that was dedicated in her memory after her death from breast cancer in 2003. The Betsy Owens quad, with its pink ribbons, has taken thousands of trips on the Hudson River, and is one small way that the club chose to keep alive the energy and vision that Betsy shared with us.

Neil S. Kaye

Neil S. Kaye was one of the founders of Albany Rowing Center. He is currently Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Assistant Professor of Family Practice at The Thomas Jefferson University College of Medicine. He was an MD doing his residency at Albany Med in 1984. He had been in crew at Phillips Exeter and when he went to Skidmore College as an undergraduate, he was discouraged to find that they didn't have a crew, so he started one. When he got to Albany and discovered no crew, he decided to start one here too. He got together a bunch of movers and shakers including Bill Cromie, Tom Whalen, Peter D. Kiernan and Louis A. Swyer and organized the Empire State Regatta. He talked Tom Whalen into building a boathouse and Lou Swyer and Peter Kiernan into donating two eights (the PDK and the LAS), which were the nucleus of the boat club when it started in 1985. He was coach, boatwright, publicist, psychotherapist, cheerleading section - essentially the heart and soul of the club for the first two years. When he finished his residency, he left the area, but ARC is his legacy.

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