With two race wins, Gareth <a href=/bio.html#RSAGB1><B>BLANCKENBERG</A></B> from South Africa is in the lead at the end of the first day of the Laser Euro Cup at the 67th Warnemuende Week.
The 24 year old sailor, who will represent his country at the Olympic Games, is improving after his eighth place at Kieler Woche. Mathias RIECK from Warnemuender Sailing Club, is also in the hunt, crossing the finishing line just behind Blanckenberg in the second race. In the first race of the day he finished sixth: "Immediately after the start I was in 20th place, due to a capsize. Then I had to get through to the front"
, he recalled. Alexander SCHLONSKI, Rieck´s training partner, is in fourth place.
While for Rieck Warnemuende Week represents a chance to prove his medal prospects in Athens and get a ticket to the Olympic Games, Blanckenberg is treating this principally as training. In the 111 strong start list there are two further Olympic competitors: Giedrius GUZYS from Lithuania and Allan JULIE from the Seychelles. On Tuesday, the last official day of the Euro Cup, Blanckenberg flies to Athens, in order to take part in the Greek Championships in the Olympic sailing area. After that he will be seen again in Warnemuende at the Laser European Championships, 16 to 24 July.
In the other classes the first day also went well. In the 420s the crew of Mathew BELCHER and Rike ZIEGELMAYER, representing Australia, scored two first places.
There were 37 yachts at the start in the Pokal regatta. After a front had passed through there was some damage to the fleet and so only one race was held today.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.