February: Oracle’s Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell

Five years ago, Olympic Laser sailor Andrew Campbell spoke to us at the Arizona Yacht Club. Now he’s been gracious enough to agree to a repeat visit, only this time he’s coming off an intense time as one of the tacticians for the Oracle Team USA America’s Cup campaign and one of the commentators for the television coverage of the event.

In 2016 he explained his America’s Cup role to Scuttlebutt, saying, “On the water I monitor multiple boats to make sure that we’re efficiently using our time. It doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that I’m also helping the mode choices for our boat, checking relatives against the other boat… and grinding our wingsheet, taking breaks while sprinting across the platform to the new helm to help steer through tacks and gybes.”

Andrew will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, February 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

After earning a spot as a four-time All-American at Georgetown University, Andrew went on to compete in the Laser class at the 2008 Olympics. (He met his wife, Jacqueline Schmitz, at Georgetown, where they were both members of the sailing team. They now have twin girls.)

The Campbells are a sailing family. Andrew’s father, Bill Campbell, is a three-time America’s Cup sailor who was part of Bill Koch’s team that won the Cup in 1992. Bill is also a former Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club.

USA Today quoted Bill Campbell saying his son’s mantra during his sailing career has been, “Keep showing up.” He tells a story of Andrew driving home from high school in La Jolla, Calif., and stopping at Mission Bay Yacht Club, where he kept a Laser.

“He’d stop, put the boat in the water, go out, tack a hundred times, jibe a hundred times, put the boat away and come home. He did that all the time,” Bill Campbell said.

“You keep showing up; you keep practicing. By showing up all the time, you’re doing more than the other guys. You’re getting better, and hopefully the results will show that. His commitment to the sport and his commitment to doing that was always impressive to me.”

Andrew Campbell (center) grinding in Bermuda.