David Giles and Fiona Clark won the recently concluded GUL RS200 nationals in Falmouth

After an evening of protests over incorrect gate procedure and the fairness of race 7 the GUL RS200 national championship in Falmouth was concluded in a Force 4 from the south-west.

Geoff Carveth/Sarah Allen had a flying start in 102-strong fleet and led at the first windward mark and looked to be pulling out a huge lead. James Date/Harriet Edwards at last showed some form and found the conditions much to their liking and closed right up to Carveth but could not get by. David Giles/Fiona Clark pulled through the fleet to gain a very important third place. With Steve and Paula Irish in the teens Carveth now had the advantage but the other two leading contenders were still well in touch.

For the final race there was a very even break on the gate start and there were many boats in contention up the first beat. Giles and Clark had started early and flew in on the port layline just to get round the first mark in the lead by the narrowest of margins from Sydenham/Vaudrey, the Dunns and Greenland/Williams. Sydenham took the lead on the run but Giles took the lead again up the second beat. Giles won from Sydenham and Dunn. Carveth finished the race with a seventh while Team Irish stayed in the teens. The results on the water meant that Giles won the event by two points but everything depended on his protest for redress against his disqualification the previous day.

The protest was involved as there has been an infringement by Giles on the gate but the race committee had let him start in subsequent starts as they had already abandoned the start. The protest committee had decided that although the race committe had taken the decision to abandon the start there was a delay in flying the correct flags and the infringement had taken place before the race had been properly abandoned. Giles won his case when the protest committee agreed that the protest procedure had not been followed correctly and Giles had no way of knowing he was involved in a protest that concerned him. Many in the fleet felt that natural justice had been done as if the same rules had been applied to a similar scenerio the day before other leading contenders would have been disqualified.