With the German military on patrol in the background, the first heats of the 2004 470 European Championships got underway in Warnemunde Germany.
Formally in the East, Warnemunde has produced and trained some great sailors and yesterday the conditions showed why.
With Olympic selection all but finished, a smaller than usual fleet of 69 Men and Mixed teams and 35 Women representing 31 Nations took to the water in an 8 knot breeze. The first of the mens fleets got away after 2 general recalls at 11.20 local and in an increasing breeze the following fleet of men and women were away quickly.
The Danes Kristian KJAERGAAD & Mads MOELLER were hot out of the blocks amassing a good lead down the first reach and consolidating it up the next work to lead the race from start to finish. They were unfortunately not able to hold their form and registered a 27th and 13th for the 2nd and 3rd races of the day.
On the women's track, the USA's Katherine MCDOWELL & Isabelle KINSOLVING built a huge lead on the fleet and went onto win convincingly. The American two having just qualified themselves for an Olympic berth in the Worlds In Zadar Croatia, they may be coming into form at the right time.
The Russian Pair Ilienko & Gaponovich lead the Table after day one in the women's with a 4th and 1st to lead by 4 points to the Danish Young Veterans Susanne and Michaela WARD with Spanish Medallist Via Dufresne and Azon in 3rd overall.
GBR's Nick ROGERS & Joe GLANFIELD, fresh from a 3rd in the Worlds sailed consistantly on day 1 to lead by 2 points from 2 time Olympic Silver Medallist Paul FOERSTER & Veteran Kevin BURNHAM (Still among the top crews at age 47) with former snipe World Champion Brazilian Alex PARADEDA with Bernardo ARNDT.
The conditions are expected to lighten off today and attention will have to be taken to the tidal influence on the course. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.