The Sailing Life of Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell sailing a Star on the US Sailing Team.

Andrew Campbell sailing a Star on the US Sailing Team.

Olympian and 10-time national champion Andrew Campbell looks at the big sailing picture. Boil it down to something like this: explore and enjoy. Sure, there’s a lot we can learn about wind shifts and boat handling and that kind of thing, but a lot of the advice he offered the AYC monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 12 was bigger than that.

Here were his bullet points:

  • Clear air (get in it)
  • Practice like you mean it
  • Even when it’s uncomfortable
  • Sail weird boats
  • Sail with old friends
  • Make new friends (he got to meet President George W. Bush)
  • Sail against the best
  • Study and learn every chance you get
  • Sail with lots of people
  • Sail with kids (You never know what will inspire them)
  • Sail in new places

The big point is that you learn through these broad experiences, picking up something about sailing or just about life itself. Or you just have a good time with friends.

Whoa. Is this the the message from a cutthroat, world-class sailor? From a calm, focused one, it is.

Andrew is a 10-time national champion at the youth, high school, collegiate levels. Racing in the Laser and Star class, he competed on the Olympic Class World Cup level during 10 years on the US Sailing Team. He won the 2007 Pan Am Games, represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was ranked #4 in the World in the Star class in 2011. Now Andrew’s professional sailing and coaching experience has set him up to expand into big boats and match racing as well as writing for sailing publications.

Sailing Champion Andrew Campbell at the AYC monthly meeting.

Sailing Champion Andrew Campbell at the AYC monthly meeting.