So we just got off the phone with Scott Brown and he confirmed without a doubt that Team National Guard will be racing at the Clearwater Super Boat National Championship! Scott said his team has been hard at work getting the boat ready for the race after blowing an engine at the fourth annual Crystal Coast Super Boat Grand Prix this past weekend in Morehead City. They blew the engine pushing too hard to try and take the 2nd spot in the Nationals in their class so it looks like it is going to be quite a show on Sunday, October 4th!
Thursday, Sep. 17, 2009
Scott Brown And The Competitive Edge
When we spoke with Scott Brown, North Myrtle Beach resident and owner of J&S Motorsports, LLC, he was preparing to fly out to New York City to race his boat last weekend on the Hudson River in the 19th annual New York Super Boat Grand Prix. The event is held in conjunction with a celebration of the river’s namesake, Henry Hudson, and the boat in question is a P4 class 29-foot Wellcraft rocking a 750 horsepower Mercury engine and emblazoned with the logos of J&S partners/sponsors Army National Guard and Watt-Ahh, which took second place on Sunday. A two-man team runs this monster, with Brown driving and Edward Tamberino handling throttle and engine trim.
Water has always been a constant in Brown’s life. Born in Savannah, Ga., and growing up for the most part in Georgetown, Brown was an oceanfront lifeguard throughout high school, which he finished in North Myrtle Beach. He attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College for a half-year, but things took a turn for him at the advent of the first Gulf War. “As a lifeguard, I noticed the Coast Guard doing things. I dropped out of HGTC and enlisted right as the Gulf War was heating up,” he says.
This culminated in four years active duty in the Coast Guard. He became a Myrtle Beach police officer in 1996, attached to the beach patrol division, but maintained his reservist status in the Coast Guard. With a specialization in fast boats and port security tactics, Brown was asked in 1999 to become an instructor at what at that time was the Port Security Unit Training Detachment based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., while still a Myrtle Beach police officer.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Brown’s telephone rang within 30 minutes of the terrorist attacks, and he was asked to become part of a 12-man Coast Guard contingency team. “We had boats that were much faster and more maneuverable and with different types of weapons systems than standard Coast Guard boats had at the time.” Brown and this team were sent to Boston Harbor. “We secured the Port of Boston, and then dropped down about three days later and spent a month patrolling the harbor in New York in the area of Ground Zero.”
On recall after Sept.11, Brown helped to create and do stand-up training for the Coast Guard’s Maritime Safety and Security Teams, or MSST. The Port Security Unit became the Special Missions Training Center and is now called Joint Maritime Training Center. “It’s not just the Coast Guard now,” he says. “We have Navy and Marine Corps as well.” Brown still maintains his police officer status with the City of Myrtle Beach.
But how on earth did offshore racing come into play?
“Back in the late 1990s I owned a high performance boat,” he says. “Later I went to an offshore boat race in North Carolina, turned around and looked at my wife [Janet Brown] and told her there was no reason I couldn’t out-drive those guys.”
Brown says he followed the sport as a spectator for 18 months, researching and learning all that he could. “I’m not one to jump into something without doing some investigation – the meat-and-potatoes about what I’m fixing to get into.” And he began to get recognized by members of different teams. “They knew I was interested in joining a team, and one of the guys asked me if I was interested in becoming a navigator in Marathon, Fla. My wife and I made the trip down there.”
That day, two races were scheduled and the owner of the team’s two boats was set to drive them. “A storm blew in and the Coast Guard combined both races into one big race. The owner looked at me and said, ‘Hey – you drive fast boats for the Coast Guard. I can’t drive them both at the same time. Can you do this?’ I said, ‘absolutely.’ So with about ten minutes of test time before the race, I got into a boat with another guy I didn’t even know. We came up with a game plan and took second place.”
Things snowballed from there, including a national championship win in the Factory 1 category for 2007. Over the July 4 weekend, J&S Motorsports won first place in the P4 class category at the Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix in Sarasota, Fla. “That’s basically the Daytona 500 of boat racing,” he enthuses. This year he placed second in Fort Lauderdale and third in Marathon, Fla., and is preparing for the Crystal Coast Super Boat Grand Prix in Morehead City, N.C., this weekend. During the Sarasota event Brown was presented with the Kevin Brown Sportsmanship Award, an honor that is highly regarded in the racing community. Brown works closely with the Suncoast Foundation for the Handicapped and is a committed advocate for autism awareness.
Brown created J&S Motorsports, LLC, in February. “If my name is going to be attached to something or if I make a contract or a partnership, I’m going to do everything I can to exceed expectations,” he says. “Today a lot of people tell you what you want to hear so they can make a quick buck. I’d rather not make any money at all and keep my integrity – and hope that leads to something bigger down the road.”
The Browns are in the final stages of adopting a son, and plan to remain on the Grand Strand. “Even if I followed the rainbow and hit a pot of gold, we’re not going to leave North Myrtle Beach. It’s home.”