The two-time defending Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women’s eight rowing crew, featuring Boothbay Harbor’s Elle Logan, won its first race at the 33rd Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday morning.
The heavily favored U.S. squad won its heat in dominating fashion, finishing the 2,000-meter course several boat lengths and more than 8 seconds ahead of the second-place Netherlands.
Team USA was timed in 6 minutes, 6.34 seconds compared to 6:14.36 for the Dutch. Romania was third in 6:16.24 with Australia fourth in 6:22.68.
The U.S. squad advances directly to Saturday’s final race along with Great Britain, which won the second of the two heats in 6:09.52. New Zealand (6:12.05) and Canada (6:12.44) also competed in that heat.
Rowing competition resumed Monday amid calm conditions after races were canceled Sunday because of excessive winds and choppy waters at Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
The United States has won 10 straight world and Olympic titles in the women’s eight competition, a streak that began in 2006.
Logan, who previously competed the U.S. women’s eight at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and the 2012 London Games, is attempting to become the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals in rowing.
Teams that have not already qualified for the final will have a second chance in Wednesday’s repechage race.