You can read the story here: http://blog.mailasail.com/nightsong
For me it was a rather interesting story. Three times up there, hats up!
The next question is: how one can gather such an enormous list of breakages?
I am sure that there is much to analyze here for the benefit of everyone.
It is noted that there has been many breakages on ARC. In this respect Nightsong's experience was not unusual, hust the extent of it was higher. (Also at least they did not experience rudder failure, which have led to the abandonment of one boat, and diversion to Cape Verde of at least one other.)
Mr. Beveridge, the skipper of Nightsong has kindly agreed to help with the analysis,
so here we are.
The list of breakages:
Nov. 26: managed to break the gennaker sheet last evening - fraying on
the preventer guy. While trying to raise the small 140sqm gennaker, we
failed to notice a small tear which quickly became a 10m tear in many
Nov. 27: we were just taking in a nightime mainsail reef when the jib
came down (my fault I shouldn't have said it was the one sail that we
hadn't torn!). What had happened was that the swivel snap shackle that
attaches the jib to the top furler mechanism had broken. First up the
Nov. 29: the snap shackle had snapped open - we guess caused by the
round split pin getting caught on something. 2nd up the mast.
Nov. 30: Another problem with the mainsail - while taking in the 3rd
reef in force 7 we managed to rip it on the luff.
Dec. 3: the Duogen failed - luckily only a drive pin - and its back
Dec. 5: The jib halyard snap shackle at the upper end came undone for
a 2nd time despite being taped up. 3rd up the mast
Dec. 5: while rounding up to reef, we ripped the jib by flogging it
Dec. 6: some bolts loose in the anchor locker which came out of the
sometimes around dec 5-17: the wind instrument went awol in one of the squalls
Dec. 9: we broke the gennaker halyard and dumped the Code 0 in the sea
4 stanchion bases have broken from the deck - 1 in the first 3 days
and the other 3 in the last 3 days.
Maybe the vessel was much more provisioned than it is usual for her, so its draft and hence the strain was higher.
Also maybe going downwind for such a long time was an unusual experience for her and the crew.
I also understand that some elements (bolts of stanchion bases) hasn't been up to specification.
First of all, what kind of vessel we are talking about?
To what extent was the amount of cargo and downwind unusual to her?
It is suggested elsewhere, that the rigging might have been done "at home", and might be a bit undersized. So who has made it, and to what specification? (Oh, maybe it has been suggested in context of Pelican's rig failure which led to abandonment of that boat.)
Also UV damage to the sails has been suggested, but it has also been pointed out that 3 years should not be too much for (good) sails when properly cared for. What kind of sails are they, what kind of maintenance do they normally receive?