Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Hyde Sails supported American sailor Matt Rutherford in his amazing solo circumnavigation of north and south America…
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. This incredible journey, non-stop over a distance of 23,000 miles, was made even more amazing by the fact that he completed it on an ancient 27-foot Albin Vega, on which he had spent just $27,000 to prepare it for the journey. Over the course of his 10 month, 310-day voyage, he experienced every sort of weather and a wide range of challenges – including nearly being run over by a freighter.
Unsurprisingly, by the finish his boat was looking somewhat the worse for wear, after the ravages of gales, an icy pathway through the North West Passage, vast miles in the Pacific and the huge waves of Cape Horn. But through it all he kept faith: “I never thought I would give up though,” he said, “I was too determined to think seriously about giving up.”
Seven thousand miles before the finish, his engine died. There was a leak below the waterline and his solar panels and wind generator died, leaving him with no power to charge batteries or phone.
At the finish he downplayed his achievement: “I knew this trip would be hard for any captain on any sailboat. Although my boat was small and my budget meagre it was my unwavering determination and previous sailing experience that got me through. We are all capable of incredible things; all you have to do is believe in yourself. I thank you all for following along during the trip. It’s been a great adventure and although the trip has been hard it’s also been very enjoyable.”
He is already planning his next trip back to the Arctic. “The idea is to have a few crew, one of which is a friend of mine who is a polar scientist. He will bring scientific instruments and we will sail to the extreme northern regions of the Northwest Passage and collect scientific data in places scientists usually don’t get to go.”
pictures by Mark Duehmig