The worst which could happen has actually happened.
Description of our dismating on Yasasin last week
This tuesday 21st of April, after sailing 7 hours in changing wind speed and direction, we are about 2 miles south of Kios, after taking the 2nd reef, the wind dropped slightly as we were rounding the southern part of island heading 270/290
Benny was at the helm, Søren and Michael closed by while I was updating the logbook down at the chart table.
The boat was totally normal, hitting waves sometimes hardly but nothing to worry until a big one came. At the chart-table, I felt it coming and was holding myself right away expecting a rather uncomfortable shock at landing.
Eventhough we were not sailing so fast (under 14 knots) we hit badly that one wave and I heard the guys shouting at me to come out. I feared something bad had happened: a big crack, the mast broken, the staysail blown up, the mainsail ripped. All those things came in my mind.
I was out in 1sec to see the mast already in the water to our leeward side, mainsail clear out over board except the clew still attached to the boom. The main forstay also attached with the solent rolled.
My first concern was to check that the crew was ok and not injured. Thank God they were still together next the windward helm on starboard. Relieved, I had to take a quick decision.
A very dangerous position for us to be there, windward of the broken mast, but luckily slowly moving around to leeward.
The one part of the mat, along side, was hitting the hull protected by the mainsail, thank god.
It took me 2sec to react and decide that there was no way we would save much of all this mess. Loosing the mast and sails were our only option.
The weight, the waves, were making any rescue an impossible solution.
I jumped in the cockpit to take my cameras (gopro and smartphone) while giving the order to secure the boat by finding knife and saw to cut anything we would not succeed to untie right away.
We were running out of time as the boat could get really damaged if hit by the sharp ends of the broken mast.
Slowly the boat was turning around the danger and we were finally to leeward, safe for major damage but risking to not get free if not loosing all, not to mention the further damages which could occur.
The very last part was the solent, still attached by the sheets stocked on a block under the boom. We had to untie the lashing, but I had the hope to maybe save it. We gave up after fighting few minutes for nothing.
After being all clear from the mast, we begun to check if the hulls were damaged, if we had to take immediate action for our safety.
We noticed the staysail stay was broken at mast level. Could that be the reason for the mast to break?
Logically not. We were sailing upwind and the mast is held by the main forstay. We had to find an other reason.
After talking with the crew, it appeared that the starboard lower shroud was not attached to the boat. If the memory is exact, that would mean that the lashing was either badly made, or the rope itself broke.
Badly made is not an option as I checked myself all the lashings made after setting the mast 2 days before, and again yesterday when checking the mast-trim, measuring the symmetry between port and starboard shrouds.
Was there a sharp angle? That will be checked at day time.
Here some films, unfortunately not taken while the mast broke