LONDON — In 2009, Tess Gerrand ’10 and Taylor Ritzel ’10 stood on the dock at Eton Dorney outside London discussing their hopes of returning to the venue to race at the 2012 Olympics. On Sunday, the two women will be the first Elis to compete in London when they row against each other in the qualifying round of the women’s eight boat race.

Gerrand, an Australian, and Ritzel, an American, will race in the first heat of the day. Crews from Germany and Great Britain will round out the competition.

In the day’s second heat, Ashley Brzozowicz ’04 will race for Canada against the Netherlands and Romania.

The first-place boat in each heat automatically advances to the final on Aug. 2. Those who do not advance will compete in the repechage round on July 31 for a second chance at qualifying to race in the six-team gold medal final.

American Charlie Cole ’07 will race on Monday in the third heat of the men’s heavyweight four competition. The US will face the Netherlands, Italy and Greece.

The top three boats in the heats will advance to Thursday’s semifinal, and the remaining crews will have a second chance in Tuesday’s repechage.

When the Olympics were last held in London, in 1948, Gregory Gates ’50, Stuart Griffing ’50, F. John Kinsbury ’50 and Robert Perew ’50 teamed up to win bronze in the men’s four.

Follow @yaleatolympics on Twitter for updates on each race.

Correction: July 30, 2012

An earlier version of this post misstated the number of boats that would qualify for the final. It is the top boat in each heat, not the top two.