In my boat's twin sister, racing the Around Portugal Regatta, sailing downwind, at 21kts when at 21:20 in the night 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 mast is keel stepped on both boats.
The violence when the mast broke was such that the windvane, VHF antenna and ST60 rotor were clean off!!. The center section of the mast, between the 2 sreaders also disappeared, complete with lights wires and all.
Jury rigged what was possible and managed to sail back home (note the engine is a small 20HP NANI just to get in and out of marina, so 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). Return home took 15 hours, more or less.
It was a litle scary, because no one could see a thing in the dark.
New mast in place, after 1 month.
Story 2) Broke the boom in a gybe in 30 knots.
Went sailing with Fred, we were doing pretty well in the 10 to 12 kts.
We're using the cruising sails, and I was experimenting the mods I made to the genoa.
Flat seas, 22 gusting 35 knot winds..all good, we were racing and playing with a friend in a Star (they're training here for the World ISAF). A friend of mine, the Skipper of the TP52 was sailing his star, we were almost downwind 135ş Deg wind from port.
Suddenly, a freak gybe, one of those you never see, the main gybes so fast, I did'n even had time to turn stabd, the boom broke 8 feet from its end. Never touched the shrouds...... BANG..
Put Fred back at the wheel, he kept his cool all the time....rolled the genoa. jury rig the boom so we don't tear the main, we actually sailed almost 10 minutes with boom like that, so I could reinforce it and suspend the boom. Well Fred did...I was making a jury...
Lowered the main and went home...pretty pissed off..