With New Jersey Restrictions Closing the Caspersen Rowing Center, Mercer Rowing Programs Go Virtual

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 12, the decision was made to take Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Programs to a virtual platform. The need for the virtual programing was emphasized by New Jersey Governor Murphy’s orders on March 16 closing all gyms and workout facilities and on April 8 closing all State and County Parks. The Governors orders do not specify an end date for the restrictions.

Until Governor Murphy’s orders are rescinded and it is deemed safe to open, the Caspersen Rowing Center will remain closed to all activities.

Even with the restrictions, the Mercer Rowing Programs are continuing to operate! Rather than on the water activities, they are operating in our social distancing new virtual world. Through the use of on-line workouts, meetings, coaching analysis, yoga sessions and even social sessions, the programs are continuing to provide physical and social workouts for our participants.

The Mercer Programs are open to all interested people, high school age and up! For more information on the Mercer Juniors Programs contact one of the Mercer Junior Coaches (contact links are found here). For information on the Masters Programs contact Coach Jen Whiting (email link here).

PNRA is adding a new Mercer Talk Tuesday evening presentation where each week another topic will be presented through an on-line panel discussion via the Zoom platform. The first Mercer Talk will be Tuesday, April 13, featuring Mercer Junior Alums discussing the transition from rowing at the Mercer Program to rowing in college. Planning future talks will feature National Team athletes discussing the delay of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and college recruitment in the COVID-19 world. Please contact Hilary Gehman for more information on joining these talks.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regattas that PNRA was scheduled to host on Lake Mercer this spring have all been cancelled. This includes the April 18-19 Mercer Lake Sprints, May 9-10 Mid-Atlantic Junior Regional Championship and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Collegiate Championship.

In place of the on the water Mercer Lake Sprints, PNRA will be hosting a virtual event on the weekend of April 18-19. The event is open rowers from around the country and already has registrations coming from New Jersey to Oregon. Rowers will compete on rowing machines, individually or through a Zoom based race) and then submit their scores with medals and honors going to the top crews. A 3 mile run has been added for those who do not have access to rowing machines. More information can be found here.

Summer on Mercer Lake is a great time for rowing, and PNRA is planning for a full summer schedule picking up in June, pending the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. The summer schedule includes the Mercer Junior and Masters Programs, Adult Summer Rowing League, National Learn to Row Day and Learn to Row week long camps for rising 7th to 12th graders.

For more information about the Princeton National Rowing Association, email us at info@rowpna.org or contact us at 609-799-7100.