During a routine sail with friends and regular crew of Team Stay Gold, we had just put away the spinnaker and were making our beat back south towards Gig Harbor in Colvos Passage. Wind was 10-15 knots, wind waves 1-2 feet; normal winter sailing weather here in the Puget Sound.
Without warning, the outhaul on the mainsail sheared. We got it under control quickly, took the sails down and returned home under motor. Had we been racing, we would have sorted out a solution to repair the outhaul on the main and carried on.
My main concern (might have intended the pun) was keeping the crew safe and minimizing damage to the sail and boat.
I think the lesson here is that wind and waves know no mercy; man made materials fail at any moment and usually without warning. Acting swiftly, deliberately and safely to get the situation under control is the best course of action. And always, Stay Gold!
Colvos Passage, Puget Sound, Washington