Passages: Mark Rudiger - Sail Magazine

Passages: Mark Rudiger

On Thursday, July 17, 2008, Mark Rudiger passed away from lymphoma. He was 53 years old. Rudiger had battled the cancer for 4 years, and he had been doing well in his fight until the tide sadly changed a few months ago. Rudiger was a legend in offshore racing and navigating circles, having navigated 14 Transpac races and two Volvo Ocean Races, the later being the
Author:
Publish date:
P9170062[1]



On Thursday, July 17, 2008, Mark Rudiger passed away from lymphoma. He was 53 years old. Rudiger had battled the cancer for 4 years, and he had been doing well in his fight until the tide sadly changed a few months ago.

Rudiger was a legend in offshore racing and navigating circles, having navigated 14 Transpac races and two Volvo Ocean Races, the later being the world’s premeire offshore race. In the 1997/1998 Volvo, on short notice, he navigated Paul Cayard’s EF Language campaign to the top of the podium, and in the 2001/2002 Volvo he co-skippered Assa Abloy to second-place honors. Furthermore, during the 2005/2006 event, in the midst of his battle with cancer, he stepped in to help a struggling Ericsson on legs 6 and 7. As far as the Transpac went, Rudiger won five barn door first-to-finish accolades; in the Sydney-Hobart he scored two first-to-finish performances. Moreover, he navigated the boat that won line honors in the inaugural Daimler-Chrysler Transatlantic race.

During his many years of grand-prix sailing, including regular berths on Sayonara,Pegasus, and Genuine Risk, Rudiger also won the respect and friendship of those around him.

On a personal note, I had the great fortune of sailing on the Puma Volvo Open 70 Avanti with Rudiger from New York City to Newport, Rhode Island last September. During this trip, the boat’s bow sustained severe delamination problems so instead of taking us on our planned offshore routing, the call was made to go inshore, via Long Island Sound. I can clearly remember Mark joking around that the bow only had to hold together for a few hundred miles; a paltry sum compared to the tens of thousands of offshore miles under his boots. That night, I had the opportunity to share a watch with Rudiger, and to listen to his stories and jokes as he navigated Avanti down the East River, whistling along at 14 knots, ducking bridges and avoiding barges. This wasn’t the sort of navigation that most saiors would even contemplate, but for Mark it came across as being a dead-simple bit of piloting.

Rudiger was fairly reticent man to those whom he didn’t know well, but it was obvious that he truly loved the ocean, sailing, and high-performance boats. I’m sure anyone who ever had the pleasure of sailing with Mark will remember his relaxed and easy-going nature, his ability to spend long hours at the nav station in horrific conditions, and his can-do, will-win attitude. He will be missed.

Mark’s wife, Lori, sent a message to the daily email newsletter, Scuttlebutt (#2642), asking his friends, shipmates, and fellow sailors to light a candle in his memory tonight. This suggestion actually came from Mark’s son, Zayle, so hopefully the sailing community make this simple request a reality.

Posted: July 21, 2008

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more