Just putting the mast back up at BSC I checked over the standing rigging - shrouds and forestay etc. I found the 'rigging links' that connect the shrouds to the mast tangs were badly cracked on both sides - literally 2/3 through on one side and 3/4 on the other !!
The stainless was also rusted in the cracks from the recent salt exposure. Note that these were cracked on the top surface and would have been unnoticible from the ground - if you have not checked yours recently do it soon ..... It would be an extremely quick way to lose a complete mast for just a couple of pounds to replace suspect items. I'll photo and put on the Cirrus website soon. The morale of this tale is simple - check your boat regularly, rudder fittings, mast fittings, wings etc - you sail a racing boat and like everything else stuff wears or get damaged occasionally.
These parts on '720' were only about 3.5 years old and while I use the boat often we can all miss stuff especially if we 'expect stuff to last forever' or if we don't do a bit of preventative checking - I reckon one more windy day and the mast would have gone and with it the race or event to say nothing about potential injury. It's been really windy this last year and I'm often surprised how well the Blaze copes with enormous imposed loads some days ... but there are limits. Cheers - Mike Lyons