Success in a recession

Niklas Zennström’s Ràn
Paul Wyeth /
Niklas Zennström’s Ràn
14 years old, the Farr 45 class is still going strong in the UK
Times are hard still, economically at least, in the UK. And so, it comes as little surprise that one of the most successful formulas to keep big boat owners racing on the south coast is the venerable Farr 45. Built in the mid-1990s and known previously as the Corel 45 and the IC45, today these once state of the art one designs are still going strong with nine or ten boats regularly racing on their own circuit in the UK. Perhaps most significantly, they have reached an age where they are no longer depreciating. Familiar Hamble figure Mike Richards, of Boat Sales International, has grown up with the 45 since its inception and today races on Duncan Morris’ Rebel. He waxes lyrical about his waterborne baby: “I’ve always thought they are great boats, because they are a perfect size for the Solent. They have always been great fun – the first boat came out in 1996 and who would have thought that 14 years later we will still be sailing them?” The 45 fleet today comprises Rebel, Simon Henning’s Alice, Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte 4, David and Gill Richards’ Shadow (to be chartered this year), Jack Pringle’s Fraxious, Freddie Freeloader (for sale), Tony Langley’s Atomic, Jerry Otter on Werewolf, Jeff Blue’s Espresso Martini and the new recruit - Niklas Zennström’s Ràn. Aside from having a fair turn of speed, the boats are still strict one designs. As Richards, who has an unofficial role as the class’ technical guru, says: “The foils, the hulls and the rigs are all pretty well sorted. The sails – there is a set of class rules with dimensions in it. The only big things that have changed are the foot chocks in the boats for the owners. Everything else is heavily controlled.” Richards mentions this because the latest recruit to