sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Matt Rutherford solo around the Americas: Exclusive interview
Matt Rutherford solo around the Americas: Exclusive interview

'Matt arriving at the end of his ten month voyage'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Last month 31-year-old Matt Rutherford arrived back into Annapolis in Maryland to become the first solo sailor to circumnavigate North and South America. He did it an ancient 27-foot Albin Vega called the St. Brendan that many would have believed would never make it around. I interviewed Matt this week on his incredible voyage

Matt Rutherford sails toward the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay after 314 days at sea -  .. .  
He told me that after acquiring the boat, he spent a mere $27,000 on readying it for the journey, and it cost him $8000 while travelling, mostly to pay for his satphone time. During his ten months voyage - 314 days - he had every sort of weather and every sort of challenge. He sailed, non-stop, an incredible 23,000 miles. He was almost run over by a freighter and had to fire shotgun rounds into the air so drunken fishermen would steer their boat clear of his boat.
'I never thought I would give up though,' he said, 'I was too determined to think seriously about giving up.'

The boat was not purpose built and, after gale conditions, an icy pathway through the North West Passage, vast lonely miles down the Pacific and the huge waves of Cape Horn, his boat was showing some wear.

'But after Cape Horn I started to think I would make it all the way around,' he told me this week, 'I was happy to have completed the two most dangerous parts (the Arctic and Cape Horn).'

Seven thousand miles before he reached home, his engine died, leaving him with merely solar and wind power to charge batteries on the boat. There was a leak below the waterline which he found impossible to fix. Then even his solar panels and wind generator died, leaving him with no power to charge batteries or phone.

I asked Matt what were the qualities that he thought got him through when the going got tough. 'Seamanship is crucial,' he said, 'and the only way to learn seamanship is through experience, you can't learn seamanship from a book.' Then he quoted Ernest Shackleton, famed Antarctic sailor and explorer who in one exploit traveled in an open boat from Elephant Island to South Georgia, a distance of 700nm in 14 days, to save his crew left behind on Elephant Island.

'Shackleton taught me how to suffer with a smile on my face.'

But it wasn't all suffering. Matt described sighting Narwhals in the Northwest Passage as his most memorable moment in the voyage. 'Baffin Bay was nice,' he said, with typical understatement, 'with all the beautiful icebergs. Cape Horn was pretty.'

What about loneliness, I asked him. 314 days is a long time to spend alone. His reply is typical of the response of the long distance cruising sailor. 'Loneliness on land is different then loneliness at sea. On land there are people around so if your lonely you wonder, 'Why doesn't anyone want to talk to me'? At sea there is no one around to talk to so it isn't as bad. Being alone doesn't bother me.'

Would he do anything differently if he were starting now? His answer was a terse, 'I would get better solar panels.'

Summing up his voyage, Matt downplayed the sheer enormity of the voyage he had just completed. 'The ocean can be difficult,' he said, 'but for the most part my circumnavigation of the Americas was a pleasant and enjoyable experience.'

Matt Rutherford - now on the ’speaking circuit’ -  .. .  
But that made it sound as though anyone could do it, while to the sailing world it was an incredible feat. 'Yes,' he agreed, 'We are all capable of incredible feats, all you have to do is believe in yourself'

Lee Tawney, director of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, was less reticent about Matt's achievement. 'It's like Edmund Hillary going up Mount Everest without Sherpas,' he said on Matt's arrival back into Annapolis.

There are no 2012 inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame as yet, but here's betting Matt Rutherford's name will be among them this year.


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=97114

11:38 PM Tue 15 May 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Sailing

Related News Stories:

09 May 2012  Ludo Bennett-Jones - around Britain in a 16ft dinghy
02 May 2012  South Passage: an opportunity not to be missed!
28 Apr 2012  Solo sailor Jeanne Socrates on a new quest
21 Apr 2012  He's done it! Sailor sets Around-Americas solo sailing record
20 Apr 2012  Sailing the Arctic - the opening sea routes
18 Apr 2012  Solar-powered yacht's circumnavigation - in the home stretch
17 Apr 2012  Book Review: The New Northwest Passage
16 Apr 2012  Matt Rutherford around the Americas solo - almost home
14 Apr 2012  Southernmost sailing voyages - who really has the record?
07 Apr 2012  Amundsen's North West Passage - not just a difficult sail
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

With just over a day left to reach the turning mark at Fernando de Nonoha, 220nm off the coast of Brazil, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has retained the lead she built in the Doldrums. She is unlikely to be headed, although the second boat on the water, Team Brunel is projected to be less than an hour behind at Fernando ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Alvimedica. I’d hate to come across as being impossible to please but after days of wanting out of the doldrums, days of struggling with routines, with sleep, with a lack of regularity and consistency to our schedules, and of course--predictability to the weather—we’re 'out' and still trying to find it ... [more]  

There was a shakeup at the top on day three of the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida! Fully recharged thanks to the lay day yesterday, all competitors were eager to enter the final stretch of the competition in Clearwater, and the planing conditions in the forecast certainly contributed to the excitement on the beach. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Keeping a good watch by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Peter Dimech, Principal Race Officer and Race Chair spoke about the storm that raged through the Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet. “The remaining yachts racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are expected to arrive at the Royal Malta Yacht Club by today and tomorrow. Whilst the wind speed has decreased, the sea state is still significant and we are keeping a close watch on the yachts still at sea. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 13 onboard Team SCA. I’m unsure if I should be nervous, excited, stressed, or thrilled today. As today I get to have fish guts smeared over me only to then become officially apart of King Neptune’s kingdom. ... [more]  

The opening day of the 105-boat China Cup International Regatta saw old rivalries renewed in the Beneteau 40.7 class, as Vatti Sailing stole victory from Vanke Longcheer in the opening Simpson Marine Passage Race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica Navigational Strategist, Anderson Reggio, explains the issues ahead of the crews in the remaining half of leg 1 of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. After the Equator and Fernando, the weather looks to be shaping up to be pretty standard for the South Atlantic. The St Helena High which typically dominates this body of water is the main driver for breeze in the short term. ... [more]  

The next landmark, or ‘sea mark’ if you will, for Leg 1 is crossing the Equator, as Team Alvimedica continue to make their way south to round Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil. Crossing this latitude is not like crossing any other on their way around the world, but has special significance for sailors who have never crossed the 0° parallel of latitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Mapfre cruzará el Ecuador hacia las 13:00 aproximadamente. ... [more]  

Argo Group Gold Cup - A front slowly crossing Bermuda brought with it an overcast sky and rain squalls. Nonetheless, despite squelching their way ashore completely soaked, the Group 2 crews enjoyed the morning’s stronger breeze, the wind less shifty having veered into the southwest overnight, blowing down Hamilton Harbour rather than across it. ... [more]  

RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - In second place, Adam Larson of Bermuda has seven points and had a great day on the water today. Larson, whose family is still without electricity after Hurricane Gonzalo, said he has been getting to bed a lot earlier these days and feels that the conditions also favored his performance today. ... [more]  

As predicted in last night's preview in Sail-World, the ORMA 60 TeamVodafone Sailing has set a new course record for the 119nm course in the PIC Coastal Classic. ... [more]  

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One, top seed in Group 2, is the first skipper to qualify for the Quarter Finals in the 2014 Argo Group Cup. Canfield lost his first match in day one of racing against Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing. Since then the number two skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour has sailed to seven straight points. ... [more]  

The forecast for day six at the La Torche PWA Grand Slam offered a slight possibility of producing some racing, but unfortunately the wind never really materialised meaning the sailors spent another day on hold. Throughout the day there were gusts of up to 10 knots, but the wind failed to improve beyond that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team SCA. This morning the boat was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, shortly after sun up we were hooning along in 20kts in a torrential downpour, by late afternoon we were sailing backwards, and who knows what tonight will bring. ... [more]  

The push and shove of 12 knots of Atlantic breeze – things are looking up in the Volvo Ocean Race. On board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, things are looking up. First in the fleet, and out of the Doldrums, they’re heading fast towards the Equator, trade winds blowing gusts of encouragement around their ears. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team Alvimedica. There is no question as to the origins of the phrase 'down in the doldrums;' the monotony of these days is painfully apparent. It’s a pattern too familiar: a night of variable conditions—torrential rain and 20 knots of wind one minute, no wind and starry skies the next. Feast or famine. ... [more]  

With only nine days remaining until the close of entries, one of the smallest, most audacious and memorable yachts in the history of the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, appropriately became the 100th entry. A mere 10.5 metres, James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will again do duty as one of the pintsized yachts in fleet for the 70th edition of the 628 nautical mile race. ... [more]  

Today was the last day of competition at the Student Yachting World Cup. Even though England’s victory was already for sure, the top-5-ranking could change a lot with two more races: Italy was second with 46 pts, Ireland third with 47 pts, Norway fourth (52 pts) and Switzerland fifth (58.2 pts)… the USA followed with 59 pts! ... [more]  

A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

The United States will be the second most heavily represented nation at the Star Sailors League Finals when they take place at Nassau in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. Reflecting the consistency, quality and number of sailors involved in the Star class, the United States has the largest representation in the Star Sailors League with 294 skippers and 376 crew. ... [more]  

Airbus and Oracle Team USA have forged a technology partnership. As Official Innovation Partner of Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup, Airbus will share the know-how of its engineers and experts in fields such as aerodynamics, instrumentation and simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis to work with the Oracle Team USA design team. ... [more]  

Thursday has proved another dramatic day in the story of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. While yesterday (Wednesday) was a day of seamanship and survival as yachts battled storm force winds, it was also a day of arrivals as the same winds pushed competitors to the finish. ... [more]  

The Royal Malta Yacht Club has been a hive of activity both day and night, welcoming back yachts taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. By Midday on Day Six 34 yachts have finished the race and 25 yachts have retired. Each and every sailor that has taken part, including those that are still out there, has a story to tell for years to come. ... [more]  

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar made a near perfect start to in the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda yesterday. The British skipper who stands top of the the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and is second in the ISAF rankings, goes into today's remaining round robin flights leading group 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Brunel. 'At this rate, it will take a century before we get to Cape Town,' sighs Jens Dolmer, standing on the bow. He is trying in vain to push the flapping foresail outwards. There is hardly a breath of wind. In the distance, the sun is sinking into the ocean. ... [more]  

Over 100 riders from more than 20 different countries have already registered and over the two weeks will compete against each other in the pro, amateur, master, grand master, youth and women's fleets for the honor of becoming the Aloha Classic Champions. ... [more]  

After probably the toughest 24 hours in the 46 year history of the race, Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 00h 45m 5s in an elapsed time of 4Days 13hours 35mins and 05secs. ... [more]  

Despite the best efforts of Tropical Storm Fay and then Hurricane Gonzalo, the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, set sail on Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour today, albeit postponed by 24 hours. ... [more]  

Today, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) took to the water for the first time from their temporary base in Southampton, sailing their foiling AC45. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13, and has subsequently been modified to fly on hydrofoils. ... [more]  

The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just five degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. ... [more]  

Day five of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has proved a day of reckoning for the competing fleet. The forecast strong northwesterly wind has arrived and consistently blown over 25 knots with gusts exceeding 40 knots. The effect has been to catapult the previously slow moving yachts towards the finish line in Malta. ... [more]  

A day and a night of uncertainty - later, the Doldrums will come to an end for the Volvo Ocean Race teams. By tomorrow morning, the fleet should be sailing safely in the southeasterly trade winds. So – who won this equatorial lottery? What was the best place to cross this convergence zone, where two hemispheres and two weather systems collide? ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng Race Team takes on the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica, somewhere in the windless ITCZ
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory
Volvo Ocean Race - Another perspective from Team SCA
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Success in San Francisco
RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship - Intense racing + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas
The first sail that changes lives
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature
34th Student Yachting World Cup La Rochelle 2014 - Fifth race day
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Match racers defy Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature
Argo Group Gold Cup - Qualifying Groups set
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Kids breeze past Hurricane Gonzalo
DSS to revolutionise IMOCA 60s, both new and old
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami: Groupe Beneteau sponsors US Sailing Team
Volvo Ocean Race - The bright side of the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind contemplates the tropics + Video
Volvo Ocean Race - Dull day, crazy night for Dongfeng Race Team
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA ready for equator crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race - Tough challenge for Brunel's Pablo Arrarte Elorza   
RS:X Youth Worlds - Hard work on day 1 + Video   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - NoR released, entries open for 2015   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A turning point for the fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg one – Doldrums for dummies   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish   
Student Yachting World Cup - Fourth race day + Video   
New improved swell forecasting and more locations from PredictWind   
Volvo Ocean Race: Day 9 final report - Lead continually changing   
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - An opportunity for growth   
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Light winds on day 3   
Volvo Ocean Race: Navigators throw away the routing textbook   
Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums, a navigational nightmare + Video   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Maltese yachts top the leader board   
Star Sailors League Finals - Torben Grael and Jorge Zarif join fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads for the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, a crew on a mission   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT