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MARSEILLE, France (AP) _ South African Gareth Blanckenberg took the lead in the men's Laser event on the opening day of qualifying Tuesday at the ISAF World Sailing Championships.

Evagelos Simonas of Greece was second while the favorites _ Mate Arapov, former Olympic champion Robert Scheidt and Gustavo Lima _ were tied for third.

In the women's single-handed event, where Laser class equipment is being used, Frenchwoman Sophie De Turckheim led Katarzyna Szotynska of Poland and Croatia's Gea Barbic.

In sailboarding, Olympic champion Alessandra Sensini led in the women's event while fellow Italian Andrea Cucchi led in the men's.

In the mixed Hobie Cat 16 class, Alberto Sonino and Adria Gaurnieri were in front.

In the keel boat events, Francois Brenac took an early lead for France in the men's, while Karleen Dixon and Christine Briand were tied for the top spot in the women's category.