On April 21st, 2012, Matt Rutherford, 31, sailed into his home port 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.
Matt's historic voyage, and his remarkable life story, is now a feature length documentary. Produced by TheSaiingChannel.TV and Flannery Films, Red Dot on the Ocean: The Matt Rutherford Story is available through Vimeo On Demand at vimeo.com/ondemand/reddotontheocean/. For more information about the documentary, visit the film's website at reddotontheocean.com.
Red Dot is currently on the global film festival circuit and has won several awards and nominations. Red Dot is coming to PBS in spring 2016 through distribution by WPBT2 Miami and American Public Television. Besides Vimeo, Red Dot will also be distributed by other top digital platforms, in Blu-Ray and DVD, and to international broadcasters.
Matt Rutherford made his Around the Americas 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 home port 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. The voyage eventually raised $125,000 for C.R.A.B and disabled sailors. You can donate to C.R.A.B. online at crabsailing.org.
For more information about Matt's voyage, visit solotheamericas.org.
After completing his Around the Americas circumnavigation, Matt formed Ocean Research Project, a 501c3 non-profit. ORP is dedicated to collecting scientific data about the world's oceans under sail. Matt refitted a 41 foot steel cat schooner, Ault, as his research vessel. In 2014, with his partner/scientist, Nichole he sailed to the Atlantic Gyre collecting data on plastic pollution. In 2015, the couple sailed aboard a Shock Harbor 29 non-stop from Oakland, California to Yokohama Japan collecting ocean data. In summer 2016, Matt and Nicole are again aboard Ault sailing up and down the west coast of Greenland collecting data about the ocean's effect on glacial melting. Visit ORP at oceanresearchproject.org to read project blogs and to make a donation to support future research voyages.
Look for more sailing documentaries with Matt Rutherford in the coming years.