Men’s Champ Singles

Andrew Campbell Stuns Field, Self, with Course Record Time

By Maggie Quick Published on October 19, 2014

The Head Of The Charles has a hometown hero in Andrew Campbell, the winner of the men’s championship singles. Even though this was his first time racing in the event at the Regatta, the Cambridge Boat Club sculler managed to break the course record of 17:12.313 set by Norwegian Kjetil Borch last year by almost a full second.

“I felt a lot of pressure going into this race, being the representative of the hometown,” the 22-year-old Harvard economics student said. “I was just ready to represent the home team and I knew I had a good row.”

He was still surprised to learn he had broken the record.

“It wasn’t even that favorable,” Campbell said of the conditions. “I’ve seen much faster days on the Charles.”

Borch came in second a full ten seconds behind Campbell’s 17:11.646 with a time of 17:21.856. Julien Bahain of the Victoria City Rowing Club finished third in 17:25.016, closely followed by popular Kiwi Mahe Drysdale who finished in 17:26.626. Borch was also surprised by the final results.

“I did what I could,” the 2013 champion said. “I had some bad turns but no big problems.”

Borch added that he expected Drysdale to do better because he his training for the Olympics. Even though he failed to pull off three wins in a row, Borch said he was happy to be in Boston again and would be back to vie for another record.

Campbell’s knowledge of the course is one thing the international stars couldn’t compete with. This is his second time winning the regatta. He also won as part of the undefeated Harvard University lightweight eight in 2012. He first competed in the Head Of The Charles in high school.

To prepare for this race, Campbell took advantage of his class schedule and practiced at noon during the week when no one else was on the river. He was able to run aggressive lines and got the course “totally down.” He has been training for a while since he also competed in the world championships at the end of the summer.

“I felt like I was rowing well this summer and I picked up really quickly,” Campbell said. “I was really pleased with my lines and how I paced the race.”

Campbell has competed against the other Americans in the race and is also familiar with Drysdale. They trained together in New Zealand for three months before the London Olympics.

“I know that sound he makes when he rows,” Campbell said.

Campbell won the U.S. trials in the lightweight doubles but failed to qualify for London. After he graduates in December he plans to stay in Boston to train for Rio de Janeiro.

He is also friends with the women’s championship singles winner, Cambridge Boat Club rower Gevvie Stone, and celebrated her win.

“It’s cool that Gevvie won too,” he said. “She just moved but we used to be next-door neighbors. We’re good friends. It’s nice to have another serious single sculler [nearby].”

 

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