Despite windy conditions, both the men’s heavyweight and the women’s crew teams took first place at Saturday’s Head of the Housatonic, the opening race of the season.

The men’s heavyweight eight finished in first place with a time of 14:39.639 in the IRA collegiate eight. The other Yale heavyweight eights came in third, fourth, 10thand 11thplace. The Eli lightweights finished sixth, eighth, and ninth in the collegiate eight, and also captured the two top positions in the collegiate four.

Men’s heavyweight head coach Stephen Gladstone, whose crews at Brown and University of California at Berkeley have won 11International Rowing Association National Championships titles, is in his first season at Yale.Alex Mastroyannis ’11 said he’s already making an impact.

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“He knows how to get it done,” Mastroyannissaid. “There’s a difference in coaching style and we’ve just been focusing on technique right now.”

The Yale women’s A crew beat second place Radcliffe by more than nineteen seconds, while the Yale B, C, and D boats finished in fifth, eighth, and ninth respectively. Because headraces at the regatta were staggered, the crews did not know their place during the race, which captain Caroline Nash ’11 said is a good reason to “never gauge your success by how your competitors are doing.”

Despite Saturday’s strong finish, women’s head coach Will Porter said that this early in the season, the first and second varsity eight line-ups have yet to be determined, and the team has much to improve on before the spring season. The Elis graduated 11seniors after capturing the national title last season.

“The biggest challenge for us right now as a team [is] finding a limit. We really need to step up our game as the field is getting more competitive across the country,” Porter said.

All crew teams will race again at the Head of the Charles beginning the weekend of October 23.