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Sailor to try the Northwest Passage alone and benefit the Disabled

by Thomas Spitzer on 14 Jan 2011
Solo Northwest Passage Matt Rutherford
Young American Matt Rutherford is no ordinary sailor. Leaving a troubled youth behind he taught himself to sail and after four years set his sights on an adventure many might contemplate but few attempt.

In July of 2008 he left Annapolis in a Pearson 32 on a two-year journey that took him across the Atlantic to Europe, then to Africa, up the Gambia River then back to the Caribbean before returning home. Self financed and many times living on only a few dollars a day his journey deserves to be ranked high on the list of sailing achievements and seamanship.

Since his return he has been doing boat deliveries as well as donating his time and many talents to a local sailing non-profit, Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating or CRAB. For twenty years this organization has provided sailing opportunities and bought the joy of sailing to thousands of people who otherwise would not be able to participate.

Now Matt has set his eyes on another and even more extreme challenge. Doing the Northwest passage alone, non-stop, in one season and then continuing on to circumnavigate the Americas. The boat he will be using is an Albin Vega 27 donated by a CRAB benefactor. He hopes to set out in June of this year and is currently working on the boat as well as trying to raise funds to complete its outfitting. A major part of this adventure is to raise awareness of and support for disabled sailing programs and sailors. To this end Matt is accepting pledges on a per mile basis (25,000miles!) with the initial funds going for the boat and all remaining funds to go to the CRAB organization.

A small calculations will tell you that pledging one cent a mile will cover his budgeted costs, which any long range cruiser can tell you are laughably small, and the rest will go to CRAB.

To join in and become part of this amazing adventure please contact Matt Rutherford at mrutherford28@hotmail.com, 443-875-8328, or Don Backe CRAB executive director at donbacke@aol.com, 410 693-1878.

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