Dear ORC, but how can I trust you?


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“All sailors know that the ORC system is not perfect, but perfectible,”
Sergio Quirino Valente wrote in his letter announcing his resignation as UVAI (Unione Vela Altura Italiana) board member. Valente, owner of the Arya 415 Duvetica Grey Goose, 2015 Italian A-Class Offshore Champion, had his boat’s tonnage certificate revoked. A smart-ass, you might say. It doesn’t. It pays for a human error in uploading data related to the boat’s Offset files at the Federal Calculation Center: an error that was followed by an additional technological “bug” in the automatic data entry control system at the International Calculation Center. The combination of these two factors resulted in a substantial advantage over the fleet at the National Championship, a “suspect” advantage that backfired on the unsuspecting owner, resulting in investigations and certificate withdrawals. The affair gives much pause for thought: can we still trust the ORC, now that its flaws have blown an Italian title (likely to be reassigned to the runner-up, Claudio Terrieri’s Grand Soleil 43 Blu Sky)? What do you think? Meanwhile, at the bottom you will find the speeches of Francesco Siculiana,presiente UVAI and Sergio Quirino Valente.

Following the finding of anomalies in the final rankings of the 2015 Italian Absolute Championship, where the Duvetica boat showed absolute overpowering compared to the rest of the fleet, the Italian Offshore Sailing Union invited the Federal Calculation Center to investigate the matter.
WHEREAS, the boat in question, after the flotation check carried out in Civitanova Marche during the course of the Championship, was found to be perfectly in line with the numbers on the certificate, and WHEREAS, likewise, no tonnage protest or reservation on the same had been lodged during or after the event, thus making its results incontrovertible, the UVAI, through the invitation to investigate, sought to find out whether there were any holes in the Rules such as might bring, once exploited, advantages in the rating computation. After careful and time-consuming investigations, it was then discovered that due to a human error in uploading the data for the Duvetica boat’s Offset files at the Federal Calculation Center, this was followed by an additional technological error in the automatic data entry control system at the International Calculation Center. All of which resulted in a fairly substantial advantage over Duvetica’s own certificate. Following our petition, the boat’s certificate was withdrawn pending decisions by the ORC Calculation Center“.

We have been very careful in planning everything to improve performance and rating, to the gram and to measure, in order to present ourselves at the Italian Championship at the top of competitiveness, also strong from two previous championships. The process for tonnage was the usual one, through the screening of a tiller and the fulfillment of a paperwork (issuance of the certificate with receipt of the document). In Civitanova Marche, we were even checked by the pool of official Technicians there and found to be regular with no defects or findings. Today I learn (but I had also been told about earlier “rumors”) that in the issuance of our tonnage certificate something went wrong, so the system would give us a better but wrong rating, in any case not in keeping with the actuality. All sailors know that the ORC system is not perfect, but perfectible. It can fit. We shall see… However, without going into the technicalities of the matter because I honestly would not have the skills to do so, let me offer some food for thought. If a system “doesn’t” read something it “should” read, any boat can run into system error. This time it was Duvetica’s turn. But time will be a gentleman: surely we will have a pejorative rating, we will participate in other important regattas, and there we will finally test whether a sailing project consists only of a “number,” that is, of so many other human, technical and sporting components that stand side by side and that we fortunately have always practiced“.



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