To parents of Mercer rowers competing at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, here is some information to help you start preparing for the trip. Athletes will be leaving the boathouse at 5:30 am on Monday, August 1 and returning home on Monday, August 8. Additional info will be posted soon, but until then, here are some details and action items for you:
To cross the border into Canada:
Customs agents require a current passport AND a notarized letter of consent to travel for athletes younger than 18 years of age. You can find a printable copy of that letter at the end of this post. UPS stores, some post offices, and the Mercer County Library (by appointment) are among the places that provide notary services locally. That said, if there is a notary in the house willing to offer his or her services, please let Amy Lustig know (267-496-9282), and we will gratefully set up a time for people to bring their letters to be notarized.
While in Canada:
Athletes will need money for grocery trips while staying at Brock University. While all dinners will be provided and included in the trip fees, athletes will be shopping for and preparing their breakfasts and lunches while there. (Each housing unit has a full kitchen.) They’ll also need kitchen supplies: paper goods, utensils, cleaning supplies, etc. can be purchased in Canada, and roommates can coordinate cookware (i.e., a pan for scrambling eggs or a pot for oatmeal, spatula, wooden spoons, etc) once rooming lists are posted.
If your child will be using a credit or debit card, you will need to alert your bank or credit card company that the card is authorized to be used in Canada that week. (Note: many places do not accept American Express.) The current exchange rate is 1 American dollar: 1.31 Canadian dollars. Many businesses accept both types of currency. If your child will be using a cell phone while in Canada, you may also want to consider adding a temporary international plan as texts, calls, and data usage can quickly become quite expensive without it.
At the course:
Because this is an age-specific regatta (Junior A/U19 and Junior B/U17), proof of age is required at the launch of each race . Athletes therefore will need some form of photo ID to present at that time: a clear photocopy of their passport, driver’s license, student or state ID card are all acceptable forms provided they include both the athlete’s photo and date of birth. (Coaches will hold onto the IDs.)
SO . . . All that being said, here is your to-do list of ACTION ITEMS:
- Make sure your athlete has his/her passport
- Sign and have notarized the Travel Consent form
- Determine what form of photo ID your athlete will use at the launch
- Contact your credit card company to let them know it can be used in Canada
- Check your cellphone plan for international calling, texting, and data rates
More information will be posted soon, but please feel free to contact any of the parent coordinators if you have questions.