On April 21st, 2012, Matt Rutherford, 31, sailed into his homeport of Annapolis, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay after completing a non-stop, 314 day 27,000 mile solo circumnavigation of North and South America - the first such solo voyage ever in a small sailboat. He made the voyage in a 27 foot sloop, St. Brendan, named after a 6th century explorer. The 1970, 42 year old, Swedish built Albin-Vega sailboat is a sturdy vessel, but not one designed for the rigors of the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn.
Rutherford had actually crossed his own start line at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel near Norfolk, Virginia. But he was determined not to step foot on land until he sailed up the Bay to his homeport of Annapolis.
Dozens of boats escorted Rutherford into the harbor where family, friends, and hundreds of spectators waited to greet him at the City Dock. After stepping off his vessel, Rutherford shared brief hugs with his Mom and Dad. He was then escorted to a reception ceremony hosted by sailing legend, Gary Jobson, and attended by the Governor of Maryland, the Mayor of Annapolis, and many other dignitaries.
After receiving numerous awards in recognition of his record-breaking voyage, Matt met with the press for an extend news conference.
Rutherford undertook the trip for personal accomplishment and in support of C.R.A.B., Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating - a nonprofit that provides the joy and challenge of sailing to individuals with disabilities. Matt’s goal was to raise $250,000 for C.R.A.B: ten dollars for every mile of his record-setting circumnavigation of the Americas. With $80,000 raised to date and more pledges coming in following his successful return, Matt is committed to translating his personal triumph into financial support for C.R.A.B and disabled sailors.
TheSailingChannel is planning to produce a major documentary about Matt's solo around the Americas voyage.
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