Campbell Rules College Singles, For Now

Hall0930
Barbara Hall

Georgetown junior Andrew Campbell won this weekend's Laser qualifier for the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association's singlehanded championship by a staggering margin; 69 points separated Campbell from the second-place finisher. Out of 14 races, only a second and a third broke his row of firsts. Although this regatta was not one of the more competitive Laser regattas, the margin that Campbell was able to win by showed his superior skill in a Laser. This was not the case a week earlier at the Nevins Trophy. With only five faces sailed, a small racecourse on which to work, and a deeper fleet, Campbell narrowly beat out Boston College freshman Reed Johnson by three points to secure a victory. Campbell's record speaks for itself. He is the only person to win three consecutive US Youth Singlehanded Championships ('02, '01, '00) and in 2002 he won the ISAF Youth World Singlehanded Championship. That fall Campbell's college career kicked off with similar success. He won C division in Lasers at both the Nevins Trophy and the Navy Fall Intersectional and finished his first college season with a victory at the ICSA Singlehanded Championships. Taking off the fall of 2003 to pursue a Laser Olympic campaign, Campbell returned in the spring without having lost a beat, especially in the Laser class. To date, he yet to lose a college Laser regatta. Although it appears that Campbell's streak may not be broken anytime soon, there are many talented sailors looking for their chance. The aforementioned Reed Johnson has proven he could be up to the task with his strong finish at the Nevins. Equally as talented is Johnson's brother, Harvard sophomore Clay Johnson, who finished third at last year's Singlehanded North American Championships. Freshman Kyle Kovacs, who also attends Harvard, poses a threat as well. He finished third, just short of Campbell, in the 2002 US Youth Championships and won the regatta the following year. Also showing they can keep up are Dartmouth sophomore Mike Wilde, who finished fourth at the 2002 US Youth Champs and Tufts junior Zander Kirkland who has posted consistent finishes in many college singlehanded events. However, with last year's ICSA Singlehanded champion, Harvard junior Vince Porter, abroad and Stanford senior Brian Haines taking a year off, the field at this year's Collegiate Singlehanded North Americans will not be as strong as it could be. The 2004 ICSA Singlehanded Championship is in Minnesota in late October, so the weather will likely be a significant factor in the regatta. The skipper who stays consistent and minimizes his mistakes will be the one coming out on top, there are no throwouts in the college scoring system. A good preview of Singlehanded Nationals will take place at the four-division (420, CJ, 2 Laser) Navy Fall Intersectional, Oct. 16 and 17 in Annapolis, Md.