Can't say it would never happen to me because you never know, but they made some pretty big mistakes
. If you actually analyse where they had sailed from (West Coast) USA if I'm not wrong - pretty much they would have sailed down wind with wind speed not much more than 35 knots most of the way. Then throw in a stop over in NZ for six months to wait out cyclone season, these guys were probably a little sailing rusty. The boat was obviously still in 'live aboard' mode and not completly ready for an offshore
trip. Couple that with possibly no recent experience in sailing in rough conditions in a yacht that is not that stiff, and you have a recipe for some problems.
Of course if the yacht had to comply with NZ cat 1 it would have had appropriate storm sails
that allowed it to sail to windward without the use of baggy roller furling sails
, then they may have stood a chance. As it sounds they were sailing with the seas on their beam - a recipe for disaster me thinks.
I see another yacht in Nelson this week dismasted last week as well.