"We were incredibly lucky no one was killed"


 
Maximus crewman Ian Treleaven recounts their terrible dismasting that left five crew seriously injured
In the early hours of this morning (local Aussie time) Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours contender, Charles Brown and Bill Buckley's 98ft Maximus, suffered one of the most catastrophic dismastings we have heard about in recent years when her forestay broke causing the mast to come tumbling back down on to the crew in the cockpit. The dismasting occurred at 0300 local time, as her crew were on deck preparing for a tack. As crewman and prominent Sydney-based yachtsman Ian Treleaven explained: "We had a no3 jib up and full main and we felt we needed to go to a reef. We had had a reef in earlier in the night and the halyard had jammed when we had pulled it back up, so we had to tack back inshore to get a guy up the mast to try and clear that. It happened just before we went to do the tack, we hadn’t adjusted anything, we hadn’t done anything - it just let go." At the time Maximus was on starboard tack and according to Treleaven was "going very nicely." They were sitting on 12-12.5 knots upwind and in good shape, sailing in 28 knots relatively close to the New South Wales coast (compared to ABN AMRO One whic was much further offshore in stronger winds.) The sea was lumpy but there weren't any big or breaking waves. Treleaven believes it was the forestay fitting at the top of the mast which caused the towering carbon fibre spar to come tumbling down towards them. "I heard the crunching and I was down to leeward getting ready for the leeward traveller. I hit the deck and the boom must have got me in the back of the head and just pushed me into the deck. I landed on a winch and

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