The nuts and bolts of Ran 2


In part one we speak to Niklas Zennstrom about his new Judel Vrolijk 72 and start the guided tour to her innovation
The project keeping most of the top UK sailors occupied over these last months has been the new Judel-Vrolijk designed 72 footer, Ran 2, belonging to Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom. Ran 2 recently competed in the Hublot Palmavela and this weekend is racing at the Regate Pirelli for the Coppa Puri Negri out of the Italian hotspot of Santa Margherita Ligure. Of the present crop of purpose-built grand prix Mini Maxis, Ran 2 is the largest and compared to the new STP65s, Luna Rossa and Container, she was not built to a box rule. Aimed at racing under IRC, less constraints have been placed on her design and while this is more a case of logical evolution than radical development, she has many features new to boats of her type. But first, a little about her intriguing owner, for we all use Skype, don’t we? For Niklas Zennstrom, a London-based Swede, Ran 2 represents his latest step up the yacht racing ladder. In Sweden, with its magnificent coastline and numerous archipelagos, sailing is a massive sport and Zennstrom says he has been sailing since the age of seven. “When I was small I was racing Optimists and Europe dinghies and Lasers and I was cruising every summer with my family for many years.” Professionally, Zennstrom, 43, holds dual degrees in Business Administration and Engineering Physics and his business background has included working in telecommunications. But his real metier has been peer-to-peer technology over the internet, through companies he set up including KaZaA and Altnet and ultimately the well-known Skype, the internet telephony and messaging service, which is also based on a peer-to-peer platform. Skype was sold to Google in 2005 for 1.2 billion Euros. With his long term business partner Janus Friis, Zennstrom is currently working on the peer-to-peer TV platform Joost

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