Ráning around

Niklas Zennström's skipper Tim Powell brings us up to speed with their packed 2010 program
Niklas Zennström’s Rán team have a new toy to play with. In addition to their no1 yacht, their 72ft long Judel-Vrolijk design they launched a year ago, they have acquired a Farr 45, to compete in what looks set to be one of the most active big boat fleets in the UK this year. “The reason the 52 got sold was that in the early days it looked like the fleet of 52s was going to grow,” Rán skipper Tim Powell told thedailysail. “In Cork week two years ago we had six or seven 52s, but it seemed to peter out until it was just ourselves and Rio. So it is nice to have a boat in the UK and for Niklas it is easy for him to come down from London. The 45 - they are great boats, they are evenly matched and if you get eight boats out at the weekend, it is good, easy, fun racing. We only sail with 11 people on the boat, so it is not a huge number of crew to deal with.” Compared to the 72 at least… Niklas and Catherine Zennström While the first outing for the Farr 45s en masse won’t take place until hopefully slightly warmer April, the Rán 45 will be competing at the RORC’s Easter Challenge this weekend. For this regatta Tim Powell is relinquishing the helm to regular Rán crewman Adrian Stead as he heads off to Valencia for training on John Cook’s TP52 Cristabella, following her conversion to 2010 rules including a new bowsprit. The Rán 45 is the former Heatwave/Audacious/Fortis Excel (etc) and since her acquisition by Zennström’s team has been in the shed having a general refit, including a complete respray inside and out. “They are a pretty strict one design and they are pretty much all