William Mathews Brooks Inventor, Aviator, Sailor

To say William Mathews Brooks is an achiever is as accurate as calling Bill Gates “just a computer guy,” or Bruce Springsteen “a guy who plays a guitar.” Brooks is a hugely successful inventor, aviator, and philanthropist. Oh, and he’s a sailor too.

Brooks received his first aviator license when he was 13. He has since attained several others. He has set 68 records in both the United States and internationally, for speed and distance, including Distance without Landing and fastest speed around the world for C-1 and C-1d, Group III-type aircraft.

He founded Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment, Co., a company which produces gear and products for outdoor guides, after discovering that the equipment which was currently on the market was inadequate and didn’t meet the needs for what guides needed. So he invented several products, either from scratch, or by taking existing products and turning them into more usable prototypes. Yes, you could say that Brooks is one of the few people who actually did reinvent the wheel. Or in this case, the emergency rescue sled.

This is a good place to mention that Brooks discovered the need for new equipment while he was taking his Certified Ski Guide course. An avid outdoorsman, Brooks was the first to ascend from Galactic Hitchhiker, which is the longest technical rock climb in North America. He is also a long-time member of the American Mountain Guide Association, where he is a Chair of the Presidents Council. In 2010, he received the Presidential Gold Award, and in 2012, he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding award.

He is also an experienced sailor, and currently owns Lucie, a 6 Meter racing sloop which has won several International World Cups with Brooks as her captain, including the 2012 6 Meter World Cup, Helsinki held Finland and the Classic Six Metre International World Cup; and Dorade, which Brooks is currently sailing in a an attempt to recapture the titles the sailing vessel won in her heyday.

Whether it’s by land, sea or air, if there is a challenge to be met, William Mathews Brooks is ready to take it head on.

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