Snapped yet another mast. This one was a bit like an old friend. A tushingham 370 skinny, from the first batch they had. I must have bought it off Jamie Haye about ten years ago for £80 a total steal. It's served me so well been put through some heavy use in the fiercest of conditions and worked really well on both Naish and Simmer sails. I was pretty sad when I heard that familiar crunch that happens when a mast gives way. What surprised me most was that it snapped landing a backie. Considering the horrendous shorebreak at Southbourne today I suspected, if anything, it would go in that.
It's also slightly disconcerting to snap a mast out to sea. I probably wasn't that far out, but felt it at the time. It got me thinking about what Jono would do crossing the Irish channel or on yet another daunting crossing.
As it was. After a small panic, I decided that the best thing to do was to fold the top half of the sail over into the boom and body drag myself in. The wind was strong and cross onshore and the current favourable. Surprisingly I made really click progress and hardly any damage to the sail. Just a small tear in the luff.
The main challenge was then negotiating the ample shorebreak that was now dumping onto a step on the beach. I lucked out and just missed a set, before the next one I paddled like a mother fucker. Any laziness at this point could easily cost the whole rig. If the Southbourne shore break ever gets you in it's jaws, it certainly will show you who is boss.
Luckily I had another mast that would fit in the van. Even though I know,it always totally amazes me how different a sail will feel when the mast is changed!