My boat's twin sister (built in 2002, mine 2006), racing the Around Portugal Regatta, was sailing downwind, at 21kts when at 21:20 the lower shroud's turn buckle failed due to admited manufacturing defect.
The middle part of the mast ( custom Sparcraft) disapeared, as well as the spinnaker, spi pole and a few blocks. Main sail was torn also.
The violence when the mast broke was such that the windvane, VHF antenna and ST60 rotor were clean off!!.
Managed to sail back home (note the engine is a small 20HP NANI just to get in and out of marina, that can't get more than 5kts at full power), with 2nd spinnaker pole and small storm stay. (you can see the makeshift rig in the photo).
It was a litle scary, because no one could see a thing in the dark.
Normally, when it breaks, "it comes back right at you", only because on most occasions it only breaks or bends in one point and the rest just pivots down, and everything gets under the boat, slight mess.
The case here was much different, it broke in 2 locations and a portion of the center section just disappeared, halyards cut electircal wire cut also, like the whole thing was cut by a blade. In the dark and with the noise is hard to see, but most probably the mast cut everything else or a shroud did it.
However, very rarely do they fall backwards into the cockpit. At least those I saw.
Giulietta i think yotphix was implying that have posted quite often ( a good thing) meaning you are not a new comer to this site! glad every thin gworked out ok after dismasting and no one was hurt
Giulietta i don't think Yotphix was implying anything derrogitory toward you or your post but, merely implying that you are not a new comer to the site and for Johnrb to check out your other posts
glad everything worked out alright with dismasting and no one was hurt