The nuts and bolts of the Rán 4 TP52

Christophe Launay Photography /
TP52 guru Chris Hosking shows us the ropes
In the six years since the TP52 class made its debut in Europe on the MedCup, a huge amount of knowledge about the boats has been accumulated and a handful of TP52 ‘specialists’ have emerged. One of the foremost is Australian Chris Hosking who masterminded the conception and build of Niklas Zennström’s new Rán 4, which, like the team’s 72ft Mini Maxi, Rán 2, was designed by Judel-Vrolijk and built by Green Marine in Lymington. Impressively this is Hosking’s fifth TP52 project in six years, starting with Michael Illbruck’s Pinta in 2006, followed by three Artemis campaigns over 2007-9, including Torbjorn Tornqvist’s 2007 Audi MedCup winner, before taking a year out of the class in 2010 to take on the no-small task of looking after the Rán 2 Mini Maxi. While the 2008 Artemis was a Reichel-Pugh design, the rest have been Judel-Vrolijks and Hosking says that in addition to him they have managed to maintain a similar team throughout all these projects, from designers Rolf Vrolijk and Tobias Kohler to structural engineer Steve Koopman at SDK Structures, to what is now the Rán shore team, including riggers Cam Marshall and Robin Hilton, their German boatbuilder Jan ‘Nipper’ Klingmueller and ex-Team NZ/Alinghi sailmaker Andrew Witherspoon. “They were all previously with us at Artemis, Cam was with Mean Machine and Nipper has been with us since Pinta,” says Hosking. “We have become a bit like a family. Between the four of us we know the boats quite well and we certainly know how one another operate.” As mentioned in our first article, the new 2011 TP52s are different animals to previous generations thanks to the changes in the class rule. In terms of performance, the most significant change has been the effective moving of the huge amount of internal ballast down to the