LONDON — Yale is off to a strong start in London, as three crews with Eli rowers won their heats to advance to the medal round of competition over the past two days.

Charlie Cole ’07 hit the water on Monday in America’s heavyweight four boat. His crew took an early lead and won its heat by over a second to advance to Thursday’s semifinal. Just 24 hours before Cole’s race, three Bulldogs competed in the women’s eight qualifying round. The Canadian boat with Ashley Brzozowicz ‘04 and the American crew with Taylor Ritzel ’10 won their respective heats and advanced directly to Thursday’s final.

The Canadians and Americans defeated second-place crews from Romania and Australia, respectively, by over a boat length.

Two additional boats with Bulldog Olympians will compete in second-chance races Tuesday with hopes of qualifying for the finals. Tess Gerrand ’10 was rowing for the Australian eight that finished behind the Americans Sunday. And Sarah Trowbridge, who was hired earlier this month as an assistant coach for the women’s crew program, will also need another try to make the finals. Racing for the United States in the double sculls, Trowbridge and her boatmate finished third in their heat. They will compete in the second heat of Tuesday’s repechage round.

Yale has not had more than four rowers qualify for the Olympics since the 1980 Games in Moscow, where the United States did not compete.

Staff reporter Jacqueline Sahlberg will be tweeting results from London @yaleatolympics.