Irreverent, sarcastic and witty, Allan Brown’s downright bawdy recollections of the heydays of Offshore Powerboat Racing beg to be read. Anyone who has experienced the roar and thrill of a speedboat’s gutsy engines can identify with the sheer adrenaline rush that drove generations of racers into the wild oceans of the world–to bring home a championship title-or even a win.
Allan Brown, “Brownie” to his peers and admirers, brings the reader into the chase with his vivid descriptions of people, situations and the characters that built the marine industry, the sport of powerboat racing and 50+ years of history that created the technological wonders of boating and yachting today. Aronow, Bertram, Wynne and a hundred others get their comeuppance under the sharp pen.
All boaters have these men to thank for risking their lives and limbs to create better boats and engines. Racers did so, not just to build bigger and better profits, but mainly, to build and better their reputations. And they were mostly men, with the exception of Betty Cook, a grandma who set powerboat racing on its ear when she joined the ranks of male teams, making and breaking international records, and earning her own. The ego in the sport was, and isconsiderable-as were the budgets and “BS” that built the race boats that built the sport.
Racing legend, Rich Luhrs adds his colorful and humorous foreword to the book. Given the “Legends of Racing” Award by the American Powerboat Association’s Legends Division, Luhrs knows all the background-but was cautious enough not to share it. He even “takes the fifth” in his introduction adding that Brownie agreed to make him only the fictitious “The Shadow” in the book in exchange for writing the introduction.
Reading the book is a guided tour through the adventuresome world of Brownie and his comrades and a look into an era that held few boundaries in search of horsepower, fame and fortune. At 83-years young, Brownie still has the mischievous twinkle in his eye and throaty chuckle of the young stud who swash-buckled his way through the mid-1900s. He maintains a lofty position in the marine industry-not in title at a Fortune 500 corporation, but in the hearts of all who know him–and in the regard of colleagues who have relied on his engineering expertise, ability to turn a wrench and propensity to turn a tale into a high speed chase. Read on, you’ll enjoy every minute of the 54 stories, whether on a plane, relaxing on a boat or catching a quick restroom break-the snippets and laughs will get you through the day. The book was just rated a “Must read” by Jason Johnson of “Speedonthewater.com.”
Books can be ordered from the website, www.talesfromthunderboatrow.com; $100. Brown offers free shipping, domestic or abroad (especially if you are a “broad” who is trying to reconnect with that handsome devil you met at the races many years ago…) For more information or photos, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 954 649 4904
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