Aviator, Sailor, Mountaineer: American Entrepreneur William Mathews Brooks

William Mathews Brooks is following the tradition set by famous American entrepreneurs and sportsmen like Briggs Cunningham. Born in California in 1951, Matt Brooks has spent his entire life exploring the mountains, ocean and airspace of the Golden State. He has translated his passion for aviation, mountaineering and sailing into the successful business ventures of outfitting and sailboat restoration.

Matt Brooks is the founder of mountaineering equipment company Brooks-Range in Fremont. Brooks-Range is an outfitter for professional mountain guides and outdoor explorers. The idea for the company came to Matt Brooks in the early 1990s as he was seeking certification as a professional Ski Guide and noticed the inadequate bulk and weight of the equipment. He then set out to create a lightweight and efficient Emergency Rescue Sled and Ski Guide Cards.

The initial outdoor equipment developed by Matt Brooks was very well-received by professional mountain guides. For this reason, Brooks-Range was mostly known in the professional mountaineer community until 2007, when the company expanded its reach as a general retailer for back country explorers at all levels.

As an aviator, William Mathews Brooks established various speed and distance flight records in 2004 and 2006. Mr. Brooks' interest in aviation began at an early age; he earned his first pilot license when he was just 13 years old.

Sailing is another passion that Mr. Brooks eventually turned into an entrepreneurial endeavor. He started sailing dinghies in the waters of his native Monterey and San Francisco Bays as a teenager. He participated in many regattas as a crew member and skipper, winning cups in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Pacific. In the 21st century, Mr. Brooks turned his attention to the restoration of classic sailing vessels. He currently owns two racing legends: the 52-foot ocean racing yacht Dorade and the 6-meter class Lucie.

Lucie and Dorade have a long history of winning sailing competitions dating back to the days before World War II. They are both still competing, thanks to the careful and skilled restoration by Mr. Brooks. Like other entrepreneurs and sportsmen before him, Mr. Brooks is doing his part to keep tradition alive.