Solo Sailor Enters the Homestretch

There are a lot of extraordinary sailors doing extraordinary things these days, whether it’s the guys enduring a carbon-fiber pounding in the Volvo Ocean Race or the remarkable speeds being maintained in circumnavigations. But in our mind one of the most impressive feats to have been attempted in recent years will conclude in the next few weeks when solo sailor Matt Rutherford returns to his homeport of Annapolis, Maryland.

Rutherford is in the homestretch of a voyage that has seen him circumnavigate both North and South America in, of all things, an Albin Vega. While this is certainly a stout little 27-footer, it’s hardly designed for the Northwest Passage and a rounding of Cape Horn. But Rutherford has already done both, and he’s done it with remarkably little fanfare. When his gear breaks, he fixes it. When he gets knocked down, he bounces back up. This is adventure sailing at its finest. And did we mention that this young sailor is doing the entire 25,000-mile trip without stopping?

Even better, though, is that Rutherford is doing his voyage as a way to raise funds for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, an Annapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to making the thrill of sailing a reality for physically and/or developmentally-challenged individuals and for those individuals whose financial circumstances preclude their participation in recreation on the waters of Chesapeake Bay. He’s set a goal of $250,000 for his unusual fundraiser — a tall order, but seemingly miniscule considering the magnitude of the feat he’s accomplished.

To donate to Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, click here.

To read Matt Rutherford’s blog and to see his current location and speed, click here.