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Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

The Publisher

Jul 15, 2008, 4:13 PM

Views: 183508
Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


Mark Rudiger, one of the world's greatest sailing navigators, has had some complications due to a relapse of cancer and is hospitalized at Kaiser Hospital in Roseville in Northern California.

Rudiger was first stricken with lymphoma in 2004 but recovered to continue his career, including last year's Transpacific Yacht Race on Brack Duker's Holua, which finished second in Division 2, and this year's Vallarta race to Mexico, also on Holua.

Rudiger's wife Lori offered a statement: "We are at a critical point here in California and need your support. Mark is in the hospital but hanging tough. He strongly believes in the power of positive energy. This is the time for it to help him through the next few days. He can fight this but we can help. Thanks for your support and for your good thoughts. Lori."

Rudiger has navigated 14 Transpacs and two Volvo Ocean Races, the premier around-the-world race. On short notice, he guided Paul Cayard's EF Language to victory in 1997-98 and Assa Abloy to second place as co-skipper n 2001-02, and in 2005-06 he was called in again to work Legs 6 and 7 for a struggling Ericsson team. His resume also includes five Barn Door first-to-finish Transpacs, two Sydney-Hobart first-to-finish boats, and last year he was first to finish on the inaugural Daimler-Chrysler Transatlantic race. He also has sailed regularly on various ocean racers, including Sayonara, Pegasus and Genuine Risk.

From Latitude 38:

Many of Mark’s friends and fellow sailors have asked what more they can do. As the family is encountering many extraordinary expenses, a non-profit emergency fund has been set up by Jim Swartz, owner of Moneypenny. Donations are tax deductible and 100% of the funds will be used to pay certain expenses as directed by Mark. Donations can be made as follows: Christian Center of Park City, P.O. Box 683480, 1100 Iron Horse Drive, Park City, UT 84060 (attn: Emergency Assistance Fund, for benefit of Mark Rudiger).


Jul 15, 2008, 5:51 PM

Views: 183453
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Thinking about you.

The "It's OK" crew!

Bob McEligot

Jul 15, 2008, 6:23 PM

Views: 183421
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark, lots of positive energy to you and your family. I'm sure you know there are so many who have sailed with you over the years who think you're the greatest and care a great deal about you.

I often think about the Transpac we did together in 1975 aboard Aranji. That was such a fantastic event for me. I was just flying the Transpac burgee proudly on the 4th of July at Tinsley.

I wanted to come hear you talk at the SFYC this year and was sorry to hear that you had to cancel it. Hope we'll have another chance.

Best wishes,
Bob McEligot


Jul 15, 2008, 6:27 PM

Views: 183419
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Been a few years since I've seen you (and Lori), but always considered you a buddy since the Shadowfox days and shaved ice in Hanalei. Have particularly enjoyed following your well-deserved rise to sailing stardom. I want to see a lot more of that, so you hang in there and beat this thing!

All the best,
John Riise

Keith Taylor

Jul 15, 2008, 6:32 PM

Views: 183416
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hi Mark and Lori. I'm recalling the OSTAR in '88 and Holsten Ocean Surfer! I know it's vivid in your memory, fer sure. Your second place overall in Class 4 was half a lifetime ago and it was all pretty heady stuff. I cherish fond memories of those times and you guys. And I've enjoyed following your career since then. Please know you have my best wishes at this tough time in your life. -- Keith Taylor, Auckland, NZ


Jul 15, 2008, 6:58 PM

Views: 183397
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark & family,

From North of the 49th we have always followed your adventures in the world of offshore racing with great interest & admiration for the awesome navigating skills you have consistently applied with success. On this current adventure I have no doubt you will be successful as always in charting the best track for you & those dear to you.

All the best,

Neil W. Humphrey
Vancouver, BC

Nick G

Jul 15, 2008, 9:32 PM

Views: 183315
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hi Mark, Lori and Zale -

We are sending those positive thoughts and prayers that you asked for...I wish we had connected for lunch on the hill at Sugar would have been nice to catch up and see Zale!

Nick wanted me to add this funny quote from Mark that makes us crack up everytime we think about it (you might not remember, but it is from TransPac 97...."Purple Hooters....oops, did I say that out loud"?!

Lots of love,
Terry, Nick, Connor, Fiona and Declan

The Publisher

Jul 15, 2008, 10:20 PM

Views: 183295
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


I read in Scuttlebutt about your battle with cancer. I am praying for you. I am a born again Christian and I know I will be going to heaven when I die because I have accepted Jesus into my heart as Lord and Saviour. I pray you have done the same because I want you in heaven with me! If you have not, all you have to do is admit that you are a sinner, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, acknowledge that He died on the cross for your sins, and that He was raised from the dead. The bible says that Jesus is preparing a mansion in Heaven for believers. We believers will be given a perfect resurrected body in Heaven and will be with Him forever. The alternative is going to Hell by not accepting Jesus. I would not want that for my worst enemy. And what if I am wrong, what have you lost by putting your faith in Jesus? I fully believe the Bible is true and every word of it is worthwhile. The Bible says “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. This verse gives me great comfort that Jesus will be welcoming me with open arms in a split second when I leave this body. He may not be ready to take you home yet, but its great to have your passport ahead of time!

I am also praying for the Great Physician to put His healing touch on your body.

Jenifer Clark
Satellite Oceanographer

stuart quarrie

Jul 16, 2008, 1:24 AM

Views: 183241
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hi Mark

You are one of the greats - hope you beat the cancer so that you can continue for many years in the same vein! Wishing you all the best.

Stuart Quarrie


Jul 16, 2008, 3:57 AM

Views: 183204
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Keep fighting Mark!


The Publisher

Jul 16, 2008, 5:20 AM

Views: 183179
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I am from the bay area and have been a friend of mark for many years and to say he is one of the good guys in the sport is a total understatement . He is the top to 1% of not only great sailors but the top1% of nice people on the planet.when he was doing volvo ocean races I kept running into him in the bay area and you would never guess he was in between legs and was just the best ,I laugh always when he sailed with me on recedvieus in the silver eagle race to sail with me instead of saling in on sayornia in the mac race just to hang out and have fun.(of course we won). I pray for he mark and my candle is lit for him.

Hang in there my freind.

sincerely michael dias


Jul 16, 2008, 5:49 AM

Views: 183164
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Navigating oceans can be a solitary exercise, but know that you are not alone on this part of your journey.
Fast passage,
John Sweeney
St. Thomas, VI


Jul 16, 2008, 6:32 AM

Views: 183134
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

my beloved wife just passed on 3 weeks ago after a courageous and brave fight against cancer. Among all the different possibilities that she reseached on her journey the best thing that ever happened to us was to be admitted at the Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana, Baja California in Mexico. The treatments they administered there plus the spiritual support were absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it.
I do not know where you are at in your journey but I felt like sharing this information with you just in case as it did my wife so much good.
Would be glad to share more info about this with you.

Sendng a lot of positive energy,

Yogi (crew on Merit for the 1989-1990 Whitbread)


Jul 16, 2008, 6:40 AM

Views: 183124
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hang in there..."tactics and strategy"!


Jul 16, 2008, 7:09 AM

Views: 183106
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark and family and friends,

Keep sailing the breeze and moving up the course! This is a tricky shift, but I know you'll be making the windward mark and blasting back down the course under a huge spinnaker!
Matthew Reid


Jul 16, 2008, 7:16 AM

Views: 183102
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


If karma has anything to do with life then know that it is on your side.

Mary and I are pulling for you.


Geoff Ewenson


Jul 16, 2008, 7:49 AM

Views: 183074
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


You are in our thoughts and prayers.

All your friends at Marin YC hope to see you soon.

Best Wishes,

Ron Witzel,


Jul 16, 2008, 7:54 AM

Views: 183069
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Thinking of you !
All the best, David

Bryan Tucker

Jul 16, 2008, 7:54 AM

Views: 183068
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hello Mark,
I enjoyed working with you on Genuine Risk and am sorry to hear about your battle.
I've been battling lymphoma since Jan. and after 6 chemo treatments, just yesterday I
was told that what's left is apparently inactive. It's time for me to get on with life as
you did but that fear of the lymphoma returning is really weighing on me.
My thoughts and best wishes are with you and your family. Hang in there. You
are truely one of sailings genuine legends! See you back on the water soon!
Bryan Tucker

Paul Cayard

Jul 16, 2008, 8:20 AM

Views: 183051
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I am thinking about you Rudi and remembering how tough you were when we had some rough times in the southern ocean. I remember being on the bow with you one night struggling to hold onto the number 4 in 40 true and asking each other how the skipper and navigator got on the bow for this one. I know you are fighting hard and will overcome. You have a huge number of fans and admirers; for your skill and your personality. We are all thinking positive thoughts for you right now. We are with you!



Jul 16, 2008, 9:14 AM

Views: 183019
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Dear Mark and Lori,

I am thinking of you and sending you all my best wishes.

Sail on!
Christine Weaver

Andrew Vare

Jul 16, 2008, 9:36 AM

Views: 183005
Re: [CWeaver] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


Kindest thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery. My whole family
offers our prayers.


T.A. McCann

Jul 16, 2008, 11:35 AM

Views: 182964
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark, we are up here in Seattle are thinking of you and hoping you can make another great recovery.

I have done tons of miles with "rudy" and he is one of the kindest and most humble of the guys on the circuit. Stay strong my friend and draw strength from the winds!

T.A. McCann


Jul 16, 2008, 12:04 PM

Views: 182952
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

My thoughts are with you Mark. Keep strong and know that I am sending positive vibes your way.

Mark is truly one of the great people of sailing. His sailing accomplishments are well known. But for me, the biggest impact Mark has is as a friend. He is a genuine good person.



Jul 16, 2008, 12:39 PM

Views: 182935
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hey Mark and Family,

So sorry to hear about the cancer, it has been fun running into you over the years in Hawaii and in San Fran for Big boat. I continue to laugh about the cab and row on United shared after the Vic Maui in '96, thanks for the Heiniken! (Didn't need it! Whew!)
Ditto to all that has been said, I wish you the best in your battle, considering all you have done and the lives you have affected in sailing, it is my guess that the stars will be with you on this one! Eat your veggies. Keep smiling.
Best of luck, will be thinking of you.
Bridget Charters


Jul 16, 2008, 12:56 PM

Views: 182912
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark, I only got the chance to sail with you a few times , but I realized in those few regattas that I was in the company of a true class act . Stay strong my friend , and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers . I look forward to sailing with you again soon.

Moose Kudlich

Jul 16, 2008, 1:37 PM

Views: 182891
Re: [bcharters] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


I am sorry to hear about your cancer, but you have strong people around you and a lot of "Mana" (spirit in Hawaiian) to recover from this.

Moose Kudlich
Honolulu Transpac Inspection Committee

Brad Read

Jul 16, 2008, 1:52 PM

Views: 182883
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Rudi, Keep battling! Your extended sailing family in Newport is sending our most positive energy to you and your family.

Brad and Kenny Read


Jul 16, 2008, 1:58 PM

Views: 182880
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

My prayers are with you Mark and Lori. You are a hero to all navigators, and well known as a great friend, husband, and father. That's a lot of good Karma. Stay with us. At least so you can watch the Pac Cup, right? God Bless


Jul 16, 2008, 4:20 PM

Views: 182850
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


I don't know you well, but have had the pleasure of meeting you and of following you via my work with various online yacht racing publications. You have always risen to the top in trying situations both on and off the water. Heck, you've battled this thing before and beat it.

Hang strong and know that the entire sailing community is behind you.

Take Care,

Sean Downey


Jul 16, 2008, 6:08 PM

Views: 182826
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


One of my fondest memories is racing the 1983 Sauza Cup in Lahaina with you and about 20 others on Charley, the Holland 67. Due to a party-induced haze, I can't remember how we did, but I clearly remember having a great time, sailing fast, and enjoying the sport to the max. I look forward to our next sail together.

Chuck Hawley
Surprise, Alerion Express 38 Yawl


Jul 16, 2008, 6:31 PM

Views: 182782
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark and Lori,

Shama and I have many fine memories of the times we have shared on and off the race course over the last 20+ years. We are thinking of you and hope that your quiet confidence will prevail. Good luck mate!

Peter and Shama

roy disney

Jul 16, 2008, 7:54 PM

Views: 182696
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark, Leslie and I are both in your corner...lots of great Pyewacket memories in a couple of oceans...and looking forward to seeing you at the starting line again soon! Lori, give us a call if you can...all our love,
Leslie and Roy Disney
714-299-9309 or


Jul 16, 2008, 10:12 PM

Views: 182635
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

HANG in there Mark, you can beat this.


Jul 17, 2008, 2:46 AM

Views: 182578
Re: [robbedd] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Dear Mark,

We are all thinking of you and send you all the positive thoughts and energy we can. You are one of the heroes of our race, and you mean a lot to all of us.
Knut Frostad and the whole team at
The Volvo Ocean Race


Jul 17, 2008, 3:12 AM

Views: 182572
Re: [kfrostad] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I very much enjoyed sailing with you on Moneypenny a couple of years back and remember that, despite your great accomplishments, your humility, humour and readiness to give time to others remain intact.

I wish you all the best in your fight. Lesser mortals than you beat it every day so keep your pecker up and soon you'll have another achievement to add to your impressive tally!

Paddy Smart


Jul 17, 2008, 7:00 AM

Views: 182506
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hey Rudi
I know you've sailed with more than your fair share of Dicksons and I hope this hasn't contributed to your ailment.

Of all the great sailors I've had the privilege of doing miles with I'm sure I've learned the most from you. Probably because I don't stop talking and you are always patient with beginners!

Keep fighting mate, I have plenty more to learn from you.
Scotty Dickson (and Roy).


Jul 17, 2008, 7:37 AM

Views: 182489
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Sloop Tavern Yacht Club in Ballard, WA are all thinking of you and sending positive energy south!! Hang in there.


Jul 17, 2008, 8:45 AM

Views: 182467
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


My family and I are all thinking of you and praying for a quick recovery and looking forward to seeing you back out on the water as soon as posibble. Here's to seeing you again soon healthy, happy and FAST on the water!

Mark Michaelsen


Jul 17, 2008, 10:03 AM

Views: 182448
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark and Lori,

Our thoughts are with you.
Kia Kaha Rudi, be strong.

Crusty and Janelle


Jul 17, 2008, 11:21 AM

Views: 70732
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer


We go back some 25 years and in that time whenever we cross paths (which has been too infrequent) I see the same upbeat, positive and humble individual I first met. Your victories in life and on and off the water have been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to all of us who know you. Keep up the fight buddy! You're in my thoughts. My love to Lori.

John Gladstone


Jul 17, 2008, 11:22 AM

Views: 70731
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

To the strongest and hardest working guy aboard Holua Transpac 07, If anyone can beat the monster, you can.

Brad Avery


Jul 17, 2008, 12:03 PM

Views: 70724
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I hope all the best for you. Sorry to hear you're going through a rough time.
Don Anderson

Brian Thompson

Jul 17, 2008, 3:53 PM

Views: 70700
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hi Mark
To me you are the Renaissance man of sailing, there is nothing you cannot do on a boat, from building the sails to the electronics. But it's because most of all you love to sail; solo, doublehanded or with a crew, racing or cruising it does'nt matter - that you can outsmart all the rest of us with speed and seamanship. Even on a bicycle I remember you use the wind better than anyone. So I am sure you can outsmart this current challenge. Best wishes and positive thoughts to you and Lori.


Jul 17, 2008, 4:18 PM

Views: 70696
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

From Sydney:
Mark, I remember you, and learned from you, in the Masters at St Francis when you sailed with us on J/105 Kookaburra and then later in the 2000 Sydney Hobart. My thoughts are with you for a strong recovery.


Jul 17, 2008, 8:13 PM

Views: 70663
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I have always admired you as a Navigator's Navigator.
I can't tell you how much I have learned while studying your moves online during this race or that.
I would be happy with half your talent.
We all fight with you.
Keep the faith.
Robbie Wallace


Jul 17, 2008, 9:56 PM

Views: 70649
Re: [Horizonav] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Hey Rudi,
Best of Luck and fight on for this next part. I have learned much about character after sailing with you.
You are in our thoughts and wish you the best. Looking forward to sailing with you again.
Take Care,


Jul 17, 2008, 9:59 PM

Views: 70648
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Sadly folks, Mark passed on today. Please light a candle for him and his family!


Jul 18, 2008, 11:45 AM

Views: 70519
Re: [SeaMonster] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I guess we are all stumped at the loss of such a great sailor and all around great person. Thought I would put this out there.....

A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says she is gone.

Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her. Her diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout - There she comes!

Life is a horizon and death is just the limit of our sight.

Lift us up O Lord, that we may see further.

Stan Honey

Jul 18, 2008, 1:28 PM

Views: 70481
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

I had the honor of competing with Mark in many events, and the pleasure of "re-sailing" those events in detailed discussions with Mark afterwards.

I'll miss Mark, in particular his friendship, intelligence, openness, and willingness to help. I owe a great debt to Mark for sharing his insight and knowledge. The world will be a less interesting and more dreary place without Mark in it.

Stan Honey


Jul 19, 2008, 4:38 PM

Views: 70335
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Mark - you have been a friend, a mentor, and an amazing competitor. We all love you and Lori and Zayle. God Bless you.

Katie Pettibone


Jul 20, 2008, 6:57 PM

Views: 70191
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Rudi, you were simply the best and the sailing word will miss you awfully. You have been a great friend and mentor to me over the years and I will especially miss your distinctive voice and great wisdom, amongst all your other fine attributes. Lori and Zayle please accept my deepest sympathy, it was just great getting to know you both in Southampton back in 2001. You will always be in my prayers. Rudi we will meet again. God Bless

The Publisher

Jul 22, 2008, 7:27 AM

Views: 70037
Re: [KennBatt] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

SCUTTLEBUTT 2643 - Tuesday, July 22, 2008:

* From Angus Phillips: For the record, in my 30-plus years of covering
sailing I've not met a kinder, gentler, more helpful yachtsman than Mark
Rudiger. He was a great sailor and an even better person.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Angus Phillips is an internationally respected
journalist and columnist for the Washington Post -- his by-line has
appeared proudly in this newsletter since we began publication in 1997.

* From John Jourdane: The sailing world just lost one of it's best. Mark
Rudiger was very special. After sailing thousands of miles together
across the Pacific, the Atlantic and up and down the West Coast, I knew
that Mark was "the best;" not only one of the best navigators in the
world, but a friend to all sailors, a gentleman, a wonderful husband and
father. He was one of the really good guys in the sailing world, and we
will all miss him.

* From Andrea Falcon, Italy: I am very sad to read that Mark Rudiger
passed away. I really liked him during the 1997-98 Volvo Ocean Race that
he won together with Paul Cayard on Ef Language. It was great to see
them arriving at every port; they had both moustaches, beard and they
were always smiling. It always took a while to understand who was who.
When you looked at Mark Rudiger, you could say: "He is really enjoying
what he is doing, he is having fun". And he was taking great decisions
during that race.

The Publisher

Jul 22, 2008, 7:23 PM

Views: 70001
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

SCUTTLEBUTT 2644 - Wednesday, July 23, 2008:

* From Vicky Low: Yacht racing occasionally has a great individual who
is able to communicate what comes as second nature to an audience
outside of the world of sailing. Rudi was such a person and I was
fortunate to work with him on Team EF in the 97/98 Whitbread. As one of
the campaign's Press Officers we were blessed with a great orator and
writer, who never once flinched from helping us to communicate our
complicated sport, whether in the depths of the Southern Ocean, or once
ashore patiently explaining the upcoming leg. Thank you Rudi, for your
help, guidance and good humour.

* From Bill Menninger: I had the pleasure of sailing with Mark Rudiger
for a couple of seasons with the Santa Cruz 70 Silver Bullet. Mark was
inspiring. He devoted a few days before the race to gather weather data
and he integrated weather grids to the course before most knew what this
even meant. I remember him telling stories of racing catamarans
singlehanded across the Atlantic wearing a motorcycle helmet to lessen
the constant pelting of the spray. Dodging buoys in the fog at 23 knots.

I remember the kind and gentle manner he had with everyone, and the
sense of urgency he had about making a good decision. One Mexorc race we
went through an unexpected squall and Mark was the first to help with a
sail change to the #4 jib. He put his mates first and I know he did the
same with Lori. I think they had met around that time frame. He was so
excited to have someone in his life he could share his love of sailing.
The best to the Rudiger family! And fond memories of a sailing genius, a
sailing role model and a great guy!

The Publisher

Jan 16, 2012, 1:00 PM

Views: 59712
Re: [The Publisher] Mark Rudiger's battle with cancer

Scuttlebutt 2642: