November 07, 2023
Angel Medals at International Regatta
Elliott Bullis, a sophomore from the Academy of the Holy Angels, realized a dream in late October, when she and her crew team earned the Girls Under 17 4+ bronze medal at the 55th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. This prestigious international competition included 66 races and 11,000 participating athletes.
Bullis is coxswain for the Nereid Boat Club, a rowing organization based in her hometown of Rutherford, New Jersey. Her team finished just behind Saugatuck and Row America Rye, two of the country’s most competitive clubs.
“Medaling at Head of the Charles was a dream come true,” Bullis said. “I was only coxing for three-and-a-half weeks at that point. Coxing is usually the smaller person in the boat laying down steering and yelling commands at the crew. You don’t know how you place until all the boats come in, so we started 23 out of 26, and we passed four boats…Once we finished, I waited until we were off the water to check the results.”
She added, “Everyone was tearing up and hugging each other…The people in my boat were Maeve Bogue, Sarah Newman, Ella Gill, and Emma Mohanram. I couldn’t have done it without them. They are an amazing crew, I was so excited to be able to coax them to the finish line and I am so proud of us. This is one of the most competitive races.”
Bullis noted that her team usually participates in four to six races every season. These events are generally smaller and local than the regatta.
“Nereid is a very competitive team and places first or very well in each race,” she said.
In the spring, she rowed at the Youth Nationals in Sarasota. She raced with Ava Swinton in the Under 17 women’s double event, and placed eighth.
“It is a select race that you have to qualify for,” Bullis explained. “We won first in our qualifying event, and I was so excited to be able to say that I’m eighth in the country for this event.”
Bullis has been racing, and winning, for over three years. She began by taking lessons with a friend.
“That is when I found I had a passion for crew, and fully dedicated myself to rowing,” she shared.
How does she prepare for a big event?
The week before a regatta, Bullis and her team participate in a seat race, which involves going in boats with team members and rowing a certain amount of meters and observing which people get the boats to move the fastest.
“We also go on the rowing machines called ‘ergs,’” Bullis continued. “The fastest people usually go in the top boat and then seat race on the water to see if anyone would be a better fit.”