Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Campbell Wins Gold at World University Games

For Georgetown senior sailor Andrew Campbell, this summer was golden – as in the gold medal he won at this year’s World University Games.

Held August 11-23 in Izmir, Turkey, the World University Games brought together 8,575 student-athletes from 122 countries.

Campbell earned his ticket to the world games by winning the national men’s singlehanded collegiate championship in November. Over the summer he spent six weeks training in Europe, practicing in places like the south of Spain so that he could get used to sailing in large areas of water in hot weather.

“Sailing’s a game where there’s a lot of different venues. Each one has its tricks and different aspects,” Campbell said. “Once you’ve done a lot of it, you adjust.”

The Aegean Sea provided the sailing venue for the University Games, as the races took place in a large bay in the city of Izmir. Often at major athletic events, venues for sailing are far from the central venues, Campbell said, so he was happy to be closer to all the action.

In fact, Campbell created much of it. Going into the final day, he was in second place behind Turkey’s Kemal Mutlubas, but Campbell had good karma on his side. While the first four days had a lot of wind, the last two days had significantly less wind, an advantage for Campbell.

“I tend to do better in lighter airs,” he said. “I just had to wait for my conditions.”

Campbell took second and sixth place in that day’s two races, but Mutlubas’ 10th-place tie and second-place finish were enough to tie.

But the gold medal went to Campbell after the tiebreaker decided the winner. In sailing, the person with the most first-place finishes in the regatta wins the decision, and Campbell had two victories while Mutlubas had none.

The six-day sailing competition consisted of six classes: men’s and women’s singlehanded, men’s and women’s doublehanded and men’s and women’s windsurfing. There were 28 boats in Campbell’s class.

The days of the regatta were long for the sailors. “It wasn’t like a normal event at all – not like checking into a hotel and going down when we feel like it,” Campbell said. “We were on the games’ schedule.”

That meant that Campbell had to be on the morning bus in time to get to the marina by 9:30 a.m. That way, he’d have enough time to pass through security, get his boat rigged up and eat and drink as much as he could.

“The sun was hot in Turkey,” he said, “so I had to be vigilant in getting as much water as possible.”

There were two races each day, at noon and at 1:30 p.m. Things wrapped up at about 4 or 5 p.m.

“It’s different from other sports. . You race against the same guys everyday,” Campbell said. “It was a long series.”

And for Campbell, it went right down to the wire.

Campbell’s strategy on the regatta, he said, “was a matter of being patient and letting other guys make mistakes . everyday trying to be as patient as possible to keep the pressure on.”

“I knew I had the potential to win right away,” he said. “I knew a medal was within my reach, and I knew I had done enough training that I could actually go out and win the regatta.”

The University Games were not, however, all competition all the time. The athletes lived in an “enormous” village, Campbell said. The sailing team stayed together in a block with the American basketball, archery, taekwondo, swimming and diving teams.

“You rub shoulders with a lot of those guys,” he said. Campbell added that they received a newsletter every morning with updates on everybody’s scores so that the athletes could keep up with each other, and he said that he also got to watch a lot of games when he was not racing.

“It’s really an awesome scene,” he said.

But for Campbell, the best part was representing Georgetown before the world’s collegiate athletic community.

“It was cool to be over there and to be able to represent Georgetown,” Campbell said. “Usually you’re representing the United States or my private yacht club. It was awesome to be able to go over there, and that Georgetown was at this event.”

“It brings a lot of esteem to the school,” he said. “I hope we can continue that in other sports. It’s a pretty awesome legacy.”

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