While at Henley

To Parents Cheering Us on at Henley,

While here, please watch the races from the grandstand or other areas surrounding the course. Due to the volume of boats moving around the island, we ask that you not come to the trailer or trailer area.

If you have items you need to get to your child, please have him or her meet you in the parking lot outside the St. Catharines RC boathouse to exchange or give them to a parent coordinator.

Thanks for making the trip to support Mercer!

Helpful Canadian Henley Links

For those of you wishing to follow PNRA/Mercer’s races throughout the week, here are some helpful links:

If you’ll be in Port Dalhousie to watch the races in person, the grandstand is located at 61 Main Street, Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.  The grandstand itself is difficult to see from the road, so look for a single scull resting on two pillars:  that is the entrance to the ticketing area and grandstand. There you can purchase daily or weekly wristbands — information about admission and shuttle service can be found here.

Lots of racing to cheer for this week:  GO, MERCER!

2nd Day of Notary Services Offered

Notary Public Jim Baker (Coxswain Diana Higgins’ grandfather) has kindly offered to come to the boathouse again tomorrow to notarize travel consent forms for those families with an athlete traveling to Canada.  He will be in the conference room from 12-1 pm and again from 3-4 pm on Thursday, July 28.  If athletes are moving boats and oars in and out of the boat bay, please use the entrance to the conference room located behind the building. (Just knock if the door is locked.)

For athletes 17 and younger, both parents need to sign the form. Completed forms and passports will be required in order to board the vans to Canada on Monday morning.

Go, Mercer — and thank you again, Mr. Baker!

UPDATED: There IS a Notary in the House!

Mr. Jim Baker, Notary Public and grandfather of Mercer Coxswain Diana Higgins, has very generously volunteered his time and services to notarize the 2016 Travel Consent form-RCHR  for parents of athletes competing at Canadian Henley.  He will be at the boathouse this Wednesday, July 27, beginning at 3:00 pm under a tent adjacent to the parking lot or, if the weather does not cooperate, indoors, in which case Amy Lustig will be in the parking lot and will tell you where he has set up. Parents must sign the form at the time of notarizing, so both parents should be present if signing on the same form.

NOTE:  Please email Amy at amymjrcgirls@gmail.com if you plan on having your form notarized at the boathouse so we can have an idea of how many people will be coming that day.


There IS a Notary in the House!

Mr. Jim Baker, Notary Public and grandfather of Mercer Coxswain Diana Higgins, has very generously volunteered his time and services to notarize the 2016 Travel Consent form-RCHR  for parents of athletes competing at Canadian Henley.  He will be at the boathouse this Wednesday, July 27, beginning at 3:00 pm under a tent adjacent to the parking lot or, if the weather does not cooperate, indoors, in which case Amy Lustig will be in the parking lot and will tell you where he has set up in the boathouse.




Canadian Henley Preparation: Important Info

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

2016 Travel Consent form-RCHR

More information will be posted soon, but please feel free to contact any of the parent coordinators if you have questions.




IDR Information

Hello, Mercer Parents!

With the Independence Day Regatta (IDR) coming up this weekend, we wanted to get some information to you about the event and the venue (Schuylkill River in Philadelphia). I know this is a long post, but please read the whole thing — rowing is an endurance sport for both the athletes and their parents!

All Juniors racing will take place on Friday and Saturday*.  For information about the event, go to www.independencedayregatta.com. There you can find schedules, heat sheets and results links, food truck information, and a course map.

For information about how to get to the course, click HERE.  Use 2200 Kelly Drive, Philadelphia, PA if using Google Maps.

When you arrive, please drop your athlete off at the Mercer boat trailer, which will be parked in the lot adjacent to the St. Joseph University (Gillin) boathouse.  Mercer spectators will meet at the big blue Mercer tent toward the finish line farther down the course.

Be aware that parking is limited and that the section of Kelly Drive along the racecourse (from above the boathouse to beyond the grandstand) will be closed to traffic during the regatta.  IN ORDER TO PARK AT THE COURSE, YOU MUST PRINT THIS PARKING PASS AND DISPLAY IT IN YOUR WINDSHIELD (PARKING PASS). 

To help keep the athletes hydrated and fueled during racing, please send the following with your athlete to bring to the trailer if you can:

If your LAST NAME begins with A-M, please send a case of water or Gatorade to share with the team.

If your LAST NAME begins with N-Z, please send a box of Clif bars or a few servings of fruit (bag of apples, bunch of bananas) to share with the team.

PLEASE NOTE:  Because the athletes have varying race schedules and times that they need to be at the course, they should each bring whatever food (including lunch) he or she would like for the day.

For parents, we will have a cooler with water, but again since race times are pretty spread out throughout the weekend, we encourage you to bring whatever you would like to eat along with you.  (The IDR website also says the food trucks are back this year!)  You might also want to bring a chair to relax in or a bike to ride along the path that follows the river/Kelly Drive during down time. Outside of Juniors events, there will be many familiar faces competing in the “Intermediate” (U23) category, giving us even more reasons to cheer.

*For parents of rising seniors:  on Sunday there will be a College Expo, which is an opportunity for athletes wishing to continue rowing in college to meet with collegiate coaches.  For information and to register, go to http://www.independencedayregatta.com/?page_id=853.

Whew! Congratulations, you made it to the finish! We will see you at the Schuylkill to cheer, “GO, MERCER!”

P.S. If you need to get in touch with any of us, please feel free to contact us at:

  • Amy Lustig (267-496-9282)
  • Nancy Levine (609-713-2453)
  • Karoline Borup (908-380-5257)


Youth Nationals: Helpful Links

Good morning! With Youth Nationals starting TOMORROW, there are a number of links to share to help with hosting the regatta and cheering for our boats:

First, help is still needed at this three-day regatta. To sign up to VOLUNTEER, please click here.

Second, Lori Wild could use some contributors for each day of the FOOD TENT. To see how you can lend a hand, click here.

And finally, to CHEER on our competing athletes, click here for race times and heat sheets.

Whew! Thank you for all you’ve done this busy regatta season, and GOOOOO, MERCER!

Youth Nationals Food Tent Signup: Help Needed

Hello, Mercer Parents!
We will be hosting a slightly scaled-down food tent for Youth Nationals this weekend. Breakfast items and coffee will be available in the early morning hours, and then lunch will be provided during the scheduled break each race day.

While I have most of it covered, I am posting a few items here that I could use help with:

Food tent signup for Friday, June 10

Food tent signup for Saturday, June 11

Food tent signup for Sunday, June 12

Thank you in advance for your help, and I hope to see you all there to support our athletes!

Lori Wild

Families Helping Families

Mercer families, we need your help!

As you may have read in a previous blog post, Mercer Juniors have teamed up with HomeFront, a local organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty for area families. As part of this effort, rowers will have opportunities to volunteer hands-on with HomeFront and can contribute to donation efforts that help meet HomeFront’s clients’ changing needs.

Here’s where you come in. This month, we are collecting and donating personal care items. If each athlete could please bring at least one item from the list below by Friday, we could make a real difference for the families HomeFront serves:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Face Wash
  • Towels
  • Q-Tips
  • Loofahs
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Body Wash

If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Outreach Coordinator, Zach Spitzer, at zspitzer@rowpnra.org.

Thank you for your generosity!

For more information about HomeFront, go to homefrontnj.org.

Regionals Food Update

This Sunday, along with the items listed on the athletes’ food signups, there will be a limited amount of sandwiches and salad at the boathouse for the varsity and novice athletes who have more than one race and will be unable to leave Caspersen between races. The rest of the athletes are encouraged to come to the marina-side food tent after their race, where there will be plenty of hot and cold lunch options for them.
There are a few items still to be claimed for the weekend — please take a look and fill in wherever you can!

Athletes’ Food Signups: Mid-Atlantic Regionals, May 7-8

Good morning! Here are the food signups for this weekend’s regatta.  They may change a bit later in the week, but please take a look and sign up to provide an item or items — there are lots of races, which means lots of rowers!  Athletes should bring their own bars, but drinks and other snacks will be available.  Please have all items to the Caspersen Boathouse by either the day before (cold or room temperature items) or early in the morning on race day (i.e., oatmeal).  As always, thank you greatly for your help!

Saturday’s Athletes’ Food Signup can be found here.

Sunday’s Athletes’ Food Signup can be food here.

Mid-Atlantic Regionals Food Tent Signups

Regionals are coming up next weekend!  Below are two separate food tent signups — one for Saturday, May 7, and one for Sunday, May 8 — please check them out and sign up to bring an item (or items) to contribute. Please have breakfast items, water, and ice to the tent by 7 am and lunch items to the tent by 10 am.  Please also bring prepared foods in an 8×10 aluminum pan.


To Parents Going to Saratoga . . .

If you are going to Saratoga to watch this weekend’s racing and would like a box lunch from Panera on Sunday (an order is being delivered for the athletes), please email Lorena (lorenamjrcgirls@gmail.com)  your order from the list below by 10:00 Friday morning. The cost is $12; payments can be given to Karoline Borup when you see her at the Saratoga course.

Lunch selections are:

  1. Turkey Breast Sandwich (smoked turkey breast, lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes with salt & pepper on country bread)
  2. Ham & Swiss Sandwich (Smoked, lean ham, Swiss, lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes with salt & pepper on rye)
  3. Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (Zesty sweet Peppadew piquant peppers, feta, cucumbers, lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, and cilantro-jalapeno hummus on tomato basil bread)
  4. Mediterranean & Quinoa Salad (Kale, romaine, cucumbers, tomato sofrito, kalamata olives, organic quinoa and toasted almonds tossed with Greek dressing)
  5. Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Chicken raised without antibiotics, field greens, romaine, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, pecans, gorgonzola and apple chips tossed with sweet white balsamic, vinaigrette dressing)

In addition, if you will be driving your child home after the regatta has finished, please contact any of the following people to let them know he or she will not be on the bus:

  • Justin Ochal  (215-520-1931)
  • Steve Baranoski (203-668-9380)
  • Stuart Levine (609-647-3028)
  • Amy Lustig (267-496-9282)

Thank you, and GO, Mercer!


Wednesday Is Picture Day!

Team and senior photos will be taken at practice tomorrow (Wednesday, April 13), so please bring your smile and wear the following:

Varsity rowers:  Uni

Novice rowers:  Mercer T-shirt.

Seniors:  A shirt from the college you’re planning to attend; if you’re currently undecided, please wear a Mercer shirt.

Thank you!

Mercer Sprints Food Sign-Ups

Hi Parents,

We are launching our rookie year as Food Tent Coordinators this year. We will be posting the sign up list about a week before each regatta. For now, we will be sticking to foods that seemed to work well in the past:  salads, grilled proteins, fruits and sandwiches, with hot items mixed in depending on the regatta and the weather forecast. Our goal is to provide fresh, safe food items throughout the day. We are asking that items be in 8×10 disposable pans with a secure lid. Our hope is that smaller pans will be easily stacked in the coolers of ice, rotated out faster resulting in fresh food and less waste. We also plan to donate any unused food items we may have to a local shelter, so the smaller pans of food helps this cause also.  New this year will be a small portable generator, so crock pots will be usable should you plan to bring something special! We will also be using the grill (freshly power washed ) and sterno to heat items. The list will cover the basics, but feel free to bring anything you would like to add to it. We are also open to requests . . .

Here are the sign-up links:

Lori Wild and Helene Gallagher

Please Slow Down

Dear Parents/Drivers,

Now that the spring season is back in full swing and the parking lot and approach road are filled with our athletes walking to practice and running for their workouts, PLEASE be sure to observe safe driving practices.  The road leading to the boathouse has a 25 mph speed limit, and a 10 mph speed is encouraged in the parking lot. With the number of rowers, buses, and cars moving around at drop-off and pickup times, please exercise patience and caution when parking and driving — as great as they are, our athletes don’t always check their surroundings before dashing to their rides home.

Thank you!

Varsity Boys: Host Families Needed for This Weekend

We are still in need of hosts for six (6) visiting Varsity Boys athletes for the CRI/Gonzaga scrimmage this weekend.   If you are a varsity boy’s parent and are able to host at least two athletes from Saturday evening to Sunday morning, please email Karoline Borup (kborup@me.com) with your availability.

Thank you!

Princeton Area Bus Info

Spring crew starts on March 7th for varsity and March 21st for novice. As in past seasons we are organizing a Princeton crew bus. The bus will leave Princeton High School every weekday at 3:15pm, and return to PHS after practice, with a 2nd return stop at Cherry Valley/Maidenhead Roads. The cost per rower depends on how many rowers we have, whether the rower rides one way or round trip, and whether the rower is on varsity or novice since varsity has more practice days. For the last several seasons we have been able to keep the cost per rower under $300 for the season and will aim to do so again.
The bus is open to all rowers; we typically have rowers from Princeton schools including PHS as well as Montgomery schools. Cranbury rowers who attend PHS often take the bus one way to the boathouse. West Windsor rowers can be picked up at the corner of North Post Road and Clarksville Road on the way to the boathouse.
If you are interested in the bus please email grace@jonroemer.com with your rower’s name; team (girls or boys; varsity or novice); and parent name, email, and cell phone. Please also indicate pick up and/or drop off locations—pick up at PHS or North Post Road, drop off at PHS or Cherry Valley/Maidenhead.

CRASH-Bs Hotel Rooms Available

If you are traveling to Boston for CRASH-Bs and need a room at the Royal Sonesta (the sponsoring hotel), Nanci Levine has 5 extra double rooms available (at $136.20 apiece) for the night of 2/27.  If you are interested, please contact Nanci on her cell at (609) 713-2453 by 2/21.

CRASH-Bs Registration

Just a reminder to anyone interested in competing at the February 28th CRASH-Bs indoor erg regatta in Boston that registration closes this Friday, January 29.  This is an entirely optional, individual event (not Mercer-affiliated), and athletes should speak with their coaches to determine whether or not they should compete.  Registration and travel information for athletes and families can be found below.

Some Helpful Links:

CRASH-Bs Registration Info

Travel & Lodging Info

December blog post/more info re: CRASH-Bs

PNRA/Mercer Open Houses

Throughout January and February, PNRA/Mercer Juniors Rowing Club will be hosting a series of open house information sessions to introduce middle school and high school students to rowing and to Mercer’s junior programs.

The open house schedule is:

  • Sunday, January 24 in Yardley, PA:  McCaffrey’s Market Community Room from 2-4 pm
  • Saturday, February 6 in South Brunswick, NJ:  South Brunswick Library Gambatese Room from 2-4 pm
  • Sunday, February 7 in Princeton, NJ:  McCaffrey’s Market Community Room from 2-4 pm
  • Saturday, February 20 in Princeton Junction, NJ:  Finn Caspersen Rowing Center from 2-4 pm

Please spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested, and feel free to share the PDF flyer below with your school, email contacts, or on social media to advertise the events.  The flyer also contains more information about open house addresses and contacts should you need it.

Thank you for your continued support of our program!


Winter Training Trip: Additional Information

Here is some more information about the Winter Training Trip before we head out next weekend:

  1.  Please print, fill out, and attach a photocopy of your insurance information to the Emergency Contact Form below and hand it to your coach at tomorrow’s practice (Saturday, 12/19).  Coaches must have this information in hand before athletes board the bus to depart.  PNRAMercerWinterTrainingTripEmergencyContactInformation
  2. What to pack: Captains will post a list of items each rower should pack for the trip.
  3. How much money to bring:  minimum $100
  4. Food (outside of scheduled meals): It’s a 12 hour bus ride, so pack some extra snacks and drinks to hold you over between stops. We will make a grocery run for snacks and drinks for between meals and practices.

CRASH-Bs Clarification

Just to clarify:  Mercer athletes’ participation in the February CRASH-Bs indoor erg competition is entirely optional, and it is up to each individual athlete whether he or she chooses to compete.  Athletes should talk to their coaches about whether or not they should participate. The previous post regarding CRASH-Bs was just to give those who may be considering going the opportunity and information to book a hotel room at a reduced rate (which can be cancelled up to a certain time if you change your mind).

CRASH-Bs (Updated 12/17)

CRASH-Bs, the annual indoor erg competition held in Boston University’s Agganis Arena, will be on Sunday, February 28, 2016.  This event is entirely optional.  For Mercer athletes choosing to participate, travel will not be organized by PNRA and should be booked by each attending athlete’s family.

This year, the event has connected with the Royal Sonesta Boston which is offering discounted hotel rates for the weekend.  Information about booking can be found here and seems to be working more efficiently by phone than online.  Be sure to mention CRASH-Bs to get the discounted $119 rate.

Weekday Strength Training Time Changes

Weekday strength training sessions for both the boys’ and girls’ winter varsity teams have been changed.  While the days are the same as originally scheduled, the time has moved up 20 minutes and is anticipated to remain the same for the duration of the season. The new schedule for workouts with Kaity at the CrossFit Hamilton gym are:

Girls Varsity:  Wednesdays from 3:40-5:10 pm

Boys Varsity:  Thursdays from 3:40-5:10 pm

All Varsity:  Saturdays from 7-8:30 am

Thank you!