Once labeled a "youth-at-risk," 30-year old Matt Rutherford risked it all in an attempt to become the first person to sail alone, nonstop around North and South America. Red Dot on the Ocean is the story of Matt's death-defying voyage and the childhood odyssey that shaped him.
I found the sailing parts of the story both the most interesting and the most frustrating and disappointing. Matt Rutherford's claim to fame is that he sailed non-stop around the Americas, a truly amazing and marvellous feat of determination, skill and endurance and courage. Anyone doing that feat would deserve to be celebrated, and we would want to know how he or she did it, what were the preparation, the logistics, the navigation. That he also came from a troubled childhood and adolescence was remarkable as well.
Like some others, my initial interest in the video was in how it was done and especially in the combination of the boat and the man to perform it. I found out about the video through the website of the American Vega Association. There are not many small sailboats that can be handled by one person that could make the voyage. Amazing that it did it. As Matt said in the video, by the end of the voyage almost all the equipment on the boat was damaged, destroyed or useless. That seems in part due not just to the strain of the voyage but to Matt's lack of preparation of the boat--there was no shakedown cruise, no testing of equipment, no familiarization! So only when the first wave washed over the boat did he find out that the deck fittings leaked! Matt's impulsive character enabled him to undertake the voyage. His strength and skill and determination enabled him to survive it. I would have liked to see much more about just how he did it.
I thought this was going to be about him sailing. It was really just about him as a person. Hey, I even have some of the same "disabilities" and upbringing issues (tourettes, adhd, etc...) that he had (which is what most of this movie is about), but even I thought it was kind of boring. I mean, the movie is being sold as this guy sailing, but the actual sailing information and/or filming is nearly non existent. They mention it a little bit at first, but they spent like, 5 minutes on his entire trip around South America. Really quite sad seeing as they are selling this as a sailing adventure and rarely mention sailing at all. This movie is about him as a person, NOT his sailing voyage.. which is very unfortunate. I expected much more from this documentary.
Great Story! Matt should be an inspiration to all young people. Put down your phone. Turn off that video game console. Stop complaining about how everything is soooooooooo unfair. Pry your lazy ass off the sofa and go do something with your life. There is a whole world out there and you don't need anyone's permission to go find it.
I dont think this amazing guy with ADHD expected that he would do so well and be so warmly welcomed and congratulated by so many people for his accomplishment in sailing around the Americas and in the smallest boat ever too! Really shows you with determination and a WILL you can do what you set your mind to, even if you fall backwards, you get back up and push ahead again and again and again....
Good movie to encourage a young person to straighten up. Lots of info about his mental disabilities, ADHD etc. Surprise twist about his early childhood upbringing. Too bad there was not more about the actual sailing. Barely mentioned the type boat, draft, displacement, and nothing about plotting the trip, sail assortment, best day's distance, nothing about the Pacific travel till around the horn, bare mention of the bird life or nothing about fish caught. Did he go near the Galopinos (sic) etc. Seeing his actual travel log and sailing decisions depending on weather would be great. I guess the video camera captured that. A truly remarkable young man.
This movie was a very pleasant surprise. I met Matt, briefly, at the Sailstice Encinal YC event a few years ago. I knew about his trip but like Herb McCormick, I was a skeptic and thought he was nuts. I came across this movie, last night and was actually blown away by the story. Fascinating portrait of a very interesting person.