A lost keel actually has nothing to do with my post. The Cynthia Woods is the only catastrophic failure that I have heard of in years. When they lost their keel it was because it tore out a piece of the hull bottom and allowed the craft to flood. A break outside the hull structure is a very different thing.
Agreed - I didn't get your point making that distinction.
I read "Taking the Helm" by Dawn Riley who captained a Whitbread racer on the first all women's team. Just from memory, during that race they broke their rudder three times and had to reinforce a section of hull that was flexing. Another racer actually cracked the hull, and another broke the mast. Why would you talk about a design that has been engineered to the brittle edge of failure for the sake of gaining 1/10th of a knot over the competition?
My point exactly - they are over the top. In the first Whitbread, the winner Sayula was rolled 360 degrees at least once and came up, rig intact, and kept racing to the win - THAT'S how an ocean racer should be built. Too bad Olin & Rod Stephens are gone.
The Cynthia Woods was not competing in extreme conditions and there was no reason for the failure.
I understood that Cynthia was a fairly extreme build - no? Granted, from the reports, it sounded like poor repairs were at least largely to blame for the incident.
For the Maxi and Whitbread boats, failure is built into the design.
Ain't that the truth. Those extreme, fragile, edge of the envelope builds are fine for buoy racing, AC racing etc. where help is immediately at hand when they break up but they are nothing less than irresponsible in deep water, the Southern Ocean etc.