Interview: Kenny Brown, Founder of Maritime Throwdown, Talks Building Skills Through Competition

Captain Kenny Brown is the founder of Maritime Throwdown (MTD), a new industrial maritime competition that tests mariners from across the United States on skills in the areas of line-handling and line-throwing. Now in its second year, Brown says the focus of the event is to promote safe work practices, skill development, and efficiency through competition. To get a better understanding of Maritime Throwdown and where it’s headed, we spoke to Brown in the lead-up to MTD’s second-annual competition to be held this Oct. 13th in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Here’s what he had to say: 

So Maritime Throwdown is about to host its second-annual skills competition on October 13, 2018, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Can you tell a little about Maritime Throwdown and how it got started?

The Maritime Throwdown was an idea I had as a deckhand because I’m competitive in nature and thought it would just be cool to do. Well, little did I know, industrial competitions have way more benefits to the companies and industry then we could have imagined.

We ramped up on marketing to get the message to the vessel owners on how the MTD could benefit them. For example, we try to show them how it can motivate crews to improve their skills becoming safer and more efficient. Or that it can decrease the turnover rate of new hires, like when companies utilize the competitions as a recruiting tool, you’re showing the potential future mariners the “real world” skill set of this career at a competitive level.

Also, bragging rights across the industry! It’s a powerful thing, once a company trains an MTD champion and they bring home the bragging rights, who isn’t going to want to work for them?

What sort of competitions are held during the event?

We have three separate challenges. The Throwdown Course is a timed line-handling course with $1,600 cash on the line.

The Anchored in Muscle Challenge is tournament-style with competitors trying for the longest single part thrown and caught. The prize $1,000 cash winner takes all.

Finally, there’s the C-Hero Life Ring Toss. We’re doing longest single throw, with top 3 qualifying for the $1,000 cash prize.

How many competitors are you expecting this year and where are they from?

At our upcoming event in Baton Rouge, we’re expecting 25 to 30 competitors. Towing companies Businelle Towing, Amherst Madison, Savage Inland Marine, Turn Services, Devall Towing, San Jacinto Maritime College, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel and Inland Marine Services are sending their best guys to compete! Along with some individuals that have signed up on there own to go head to head. They are coming in from as far west as West Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisana.

Can you tell us what the upcoming schedule looks like?

October 13th in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the main event for the 2018 season.

November 28-30 at the International WorkBoat Show will kick off the 2019 season as the 1st “Southern Regional Qualifier” for the 2019 main event, which will be held close to the end of 2019. We are looking to do a Northern Qualifier at the Inland Marine Expo in St. Louis on May 20-22, 2019. Eventually, we would like to see multiple Regionals in port towns across the country.

Maritime Throwdown is only its second year, but it seems like people have really taken to the idea. Where do you see MTD headed in the next few years?

Yes, it really has taken off in a short time, there are a lot of puzzle pieces on the table so that’s a good indication our plans for the future will manifest, with the support of the maritime industry.

We plan on adding challenges to the MTD such as a towing competition, a tanking competition, as well as a MOB rescue competition utilizing C-Hero’s rescue pole and Davit system.

As well as increasing the prizes, we plan on giving away a brand new truck within 3 years!! That’s our goal, to make the prizes life-changing enough to bring out the best of the best and to motivate the newcomers to increase their skills and safety in order to compete.

Can you tell our audience where they can find you online?

Of course. Check us out on our website at www.MARITIMETHROWDOWN.com, or on Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to tell our audience about Maritime Throwdown?

MTD is a new concept to our industry, and like anything new, it takes hearing or seeing what we are doing multiple times before it finally hits home, so if you are passionate about our industry and like what we are doing, please tell your company about us and follow us on social media. Share, like, tag, and comment on our posts, it helps more than you know. Also a huge Thank You to all our supporters, this couldn’t be done without you!