Red Dot on the Ocean is the story of Matt Rutherford, a once troubled youth, who takes on a death-defying sailing odyssey. Braving the icebergs of the arctic and mountainous waves of Cape Horn, Rutherford is the only person to ever sail solo, nonstop around the North and South American continents. Many professional sailors called him crazy and declared the journey “a suicide mission.” Nevertheless, the intrepid Rutherford completed the 27,000-mile voyage in 309 days in scrappy, old, 27-foot fiberglass sloop.
Rutherford’s story is told through his own footage and photographs of the voyage as well as interviews with friends, family, and sailing experts.Heading North
Rutherford’s childhood was no picnic. He grew up in an obscure Christian cult and struggled with ADHD and learning disabilities. More of his early teen years were spent on the street than in school. Then, at age 17, locked up in a juvenile detention center, he had an epiphany and began to turn his life around. Matt finally found a positive connection to education, the world, and life at Eagle Rock, a progressive high school in Colorado. After graduating, he turned this energy toward world exploration.
Rutherford bought his first boat sight unseen on the Internet and learned to sail on the fly. Four years later, in 2008, he embarked on a singlehanded voyage from the USA to Europe, West Africa and back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. He had found his calling.
His next challenge was to circumnavigate the Americas. Much to his credit, Rutherford embarked on this extremely risky venture not simply for glory or self-knowledge, but to bring attention to and raise funds for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) — an Annapolis-based non-profit dedicated to bringing the sailing experience to physically and mentally disabled individuals.
Herb McCormick, Senior Editor of Cruising World magazine says of Matt:
Matt’s quest was so pure and he pulled it off with such style and panache and, he did it for a great cause and organization! I’m blown away by what Matt did. I was his biggest skeptic and now I’m his biggest fan.
How does an angry, troubled kid transform into a sailing legend with humanitarian goals? Just ask Matt Rutherford. Red Dot on the Ocean is full of surprises. It is truly inspiring and makes us all feel we can do more than we ever imagined.