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the skipper from Derry~Londonderry~Doire is talking about fatigue...
Clipper Race - Skipper Report -
if this is true there are only two possible reasons:
badly manufactured, especially the material (316 steel i guess) or
wrongly dimensioned...

we had once a broken forestay on a charter boat but there the chainplate broke due to a very fine fracture sustained month earlier by another crew doing a stupid docking... you could see the fracture line on the broken chainplate and the resulting corrosion inside the material very clearly which all together was not visible without magnifying glasses or something from the outside...
 
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