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EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

The Publisher

Oct 19, 2008, 10:14 AM

Views: 24842
EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

Michael Campbell, who for the last quarter of a century has been the West Coast's preeminent ocean racer, passed away last Friday after a long fight with Carcinoid Syndrome. While campaigning primarily for the Long Beach Yacht Club, he was also active at the St. Francis Yacht Club. Campbell’s yachts included the Tim Barnett-designed Climax, followed by a Sled, a Turbo-Sled and a TP52 which were all designed by Alan Andrews … and all named after his wife, Victoria. His current boat is the hugely successful Tim Kernan-designed custom 70-foot Peligroso which he co-skippers with Dale Williams.

Campbell’s offshore boats have won an unprecedented number of major prizes in blue-water Mexican races to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Manzanillo, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, as well as the Transpac race to Hawaii. During this same period, he also achieved unrivaled success in prestigious regional and international regattas in California and in Mexico.

He is survived by his wife Victoria, his son Ryan and wife Candice and their two children Alison and Mike of Salt Lake City, Utah; two sons in Long Beach, California – Zachary and Nelson; and his mother, Clara Mae Campbell. Campbell, will be cremated and buried at sea in early November.

Cards may be sent to 49201 Avenida Anselmo, La Quinta, CA 92253; donations can be made to Nagourney Institute, 750 east 29th Street, Long Beach, CA 90806. Said Victoria, "Mike believes that Dr. Nagourney is a brilliant and dedicated scientist and that if it ever happens, he will be the one to unlock the mystery of the cure for cancer.”

The Publisher

Oct 19, 2008, 10:20 AM

Views: 24823
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

From Chris Dickson:

Mike Campbell sadly passed away this week, and for many Californians, a similar number of Kiwis and many, many others around the World, he will be very much missed. What a sad loss of such a wonderful man.

I first met Mike 28 years ago, at Long Beach Yacht Club, and like all my family and thousands of others, we have enjoyed his friendship ever since. I was an aspiring young Kiwi sailor, representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at my first ever foray into the International Match Racing scene, attending the Congressional Cup. With a keen Kiwi crew, loads of enthusiasm, and an equal shortage of money, we spent the first night in a borrowed RV. Hearing of our crowded accommodations, one of the club members immediately came and unreservedly offered his spare room and car to my team. Yes it was a young Mike Campbell.

Well, the “spare room” turned out to be the lounge of his small house, and the car was actually his only car, but from that first moment it was clear that Mike was a very sharing and giving man. At that time, Mike was renting the house, leasing his car, and ecstatically happy to make payroll at work where he leased two trucks and had three employees!

Well, clearly over the years times changed and the little business grew, as did the house, cars, boats, planes, and friends, but one thing that never changed was Mike’s character and friendship. Everything he had, he shared and everyone he knew was included. Whether it was those early years when Mike might have been down to his last dollar, or in latter years when clearly he wasn’t, he shared everything, Mike was Mike. He has been the same generous man over all of those 28 years.

Mike has been a wonderful friend to us all, and has included us in his racing, cruising, and life. He has raced TransPacs, Mexican races, Big Boat Series, and every race in between. He has cruised North America from Maine to Vancouver. He has been to races all over the world and quietly sponsored regattas, individuals, and organizations, always without fanfare. Most of his philanthropy was never known to anyone but the recipient; that was how Mike liked it to be.

Mike, on behalf of all your sailing mates; Thank you and God bless. You were hugely loved and appreciated and although you will be missed by all of us, you will remain close to our hearts. From all your sailing friends, my family, and from me.

Chris Dickson MBE.


Oct 19, 2008, 9:23 PM

Views: 24744
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

I was very saddened to hear about Mike's passing on Friday. I had most recently seen Mike at the St Francis YC during Big Boat Series in mid September. He and Victoria were in San Francisco on their power boat to watch the races and visit with friends. I'm glad I got to see him while he was still on his boat and enjoying sailboat racing.

Mike was a real gentleman to me when I joined the California TP52 fleet in 2001. He was one of the visionaries behind the creation of the TP52 box rule. And, I think his support of the fleet is one of the reasons it became so successful. Mike hosted many social events for the fleet and was very generous to me and the other owners. Everyone knew they were welcome to stop by Mike's power boat for a beer after the races.

I've raced against Mike on many races to Mexico over the past few years. He's won more than anyone else I know. For instance, he was 1st overall in the race to Puerto Vallarta this spring. And, I have to say that of all the people I've ever raced against, Mike is the only person I've ever been happy to lose a race to. Mike was a great competitor and a great gentleman. So, if I had to lose to anyone, I was always happy that it was Mike. I'll miss him. And, I'm sure everyone else will too.

Bill Turpin
Alta Vita & Akela


Oct 20, 2008, 6:50 AM

Views: 24646
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

A true gentleman of sailing has been lost. The passing of Mike Campbell will certainly leave an empty spot at the starting line of most off shore races on the West Coast of the US for many years to come. I had known Michael for over 25 years and always admired his generosity and kindness to people. Michael took so many sailors into his home and family. His hospitality moved from the sailing community to others as well. There are so many wonderful memories of Michael, from chartering the Grand Cru to Cabo one year in the mid 80's to putting together a charter for the CORC in the British Virgin Islands during those same years. Whether it was shopping in St. Thomas in the middle of race week or being in Hawaii during the many Trans Pacs, Michael was a fun and loving man. How ironic to receive the 2009 invitation for entries to the TPYC race at the same time I am receiving the notice of Michael's passing. I will always miss his warmth, kindness and generosity. My thoughts to Victoria/Ryan/Zachary and Nathan. Bruce Wallerstein, from Cabarete, Republica Dominicana.


Oct 20, 2008, 9:19 AM

Views: 24565
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

Thank you, Mike (and Victoria) for the wonderful hospitality, and for the great spirit and enthusiasm you have for boating - you are truly memorable.

Bates McKee


Oct 20, 2008, 11:47 AM

Views: 24485
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

Mr. C had the most jovial, infectious laugh. I loved telling him jokes just so I could hear it. He was 1 in a million. There is a kind of melancholy hanging over Long Beach, in particular, and I don’t know that’ll ever be the same. Mr. C touched so many with his goodhearted generosity. He and Victoria made everyone feel welcome and comfortable in the many sailing/social events they hosted. Words cannot describe the sorrow we all feel. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family.

The Publisher

Oct 20, 2008, 12:35 PM

Views: 24462
Re: [SoCalSailor] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

Mike Campbell – October 17, 2008

Mike Campbell passed away in Long Beach CA. on Friday, October 17, from Carcinoid Syndrome. Michael Joe Campbell (Mike) was born on November 8, 1944. He was the son of Gene E. Campbell (deceased) and Clara Mae (Edmonds) Campbell of Springfield MO. Mike is survived by his mother, Clara Mae; loving wife Victoria (Moncur) Campbell; sons Ryan Campbell and his wife Candice, of St. George, Utah; Zachary T. Campbell of Long Beach; and Nelson R. Campbell of Long Beach. His grandchildren Alison and Michael Campbell of St. George will also sorely miss him.

Mike was born in Kansas City, Missouri, served in the US Navy in San Diego and Japan. After his honorable discharge from the service, he moved to Long Beach, worked at the US Post Office and later graduated from Cal State Long Beach. Mike was a visionary entrepreneur who in 1979 started Mike Campbell and Assoc. Ltd., a warehouse and transportation company. The company under Mike’s leadership has expanded and is now a leader in the industry serving the western United States.

Mike was an active member in many clubs. He was an avid boating, racing and golfing enthusiast. Mike was a member of Long Beach Yacht Club, S t. Francis Yacht Club and Fourth of July Yacht Club. He was=2 0also an active golfer with memberships in Virginia Country Club, La Quinta Country Club and The Olympic Club.

Beyond racing boats and golfing, Mike enjoyed international travel. He traveled extensively with family and friends on his own boat throughout Mexico, to Costa Rica and through the Panama Canal.

For the last quarter of a century Michael Campbell has been California’s preeminent ocean racer. While campaigning primarily for Long Beach Yacht Club, he was also active at the St. Francis Yacht Club. Mike named all of his boats after his wife Victoria. His current boat is the hugely successful Tim Kernan-designed custom 70-foot Peligroso which he co-owned with Dale Williams of St. Francis Yacht Club. Campbell’s offshore boats have won an unprecedented number of major prizes in blue-water Mexican races to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Manzanillo, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, as well as the Transpac race to Hawaii. During this same period, he also achieved unrivaled success in prestigious regional and international regattas in California and in Mexico.

From 1983 to 2007, Mike annually was awarded Long Beach Yacht Club’s Legion of Merit for his participation in sailing events beyond 100 miles from the Continental US. He was proclaimed Yachtsman of the=2 0Year in 1992 winning the Arthur Knapp Award. In 1994, and again in 2007, Mike was awarded the Richard Loynes Trophy which is the highest award given by Long Beach Yacht Club for members who have contributed the most to Yachting and the Club.

Mike was generous of his time and spirit and believed in giving back to the community. Some of the charitable organizations that benefited from his generosity are: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Dunn School, Vanguard Cancer Foundation, Nagourney Institute, Long Beach Memorial Children’s Clinic, Orange Coast Sailing Program, US Olympic Sailing Program, Long Beach Yacht Club Sailing Foundation and the Long Beach Yacht Club Congressional Cup.

Mike loved to entertain and often opened his home for many events, charitable and just plain fun. He was known for his annual Christmas party. He was the most social man in the world and would often call his wife Victoria to announce that he had invited 30 people for dinner in a few hours and he knew she could handle it.

A memorial service will be held on November 3 at 12:00 at Long Beach Yacht Club.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Nagourney Institute
750 East 29th Street
Long Beach, CA 90806

It was Mike’s sincere belief that Dr. Robert Nagourney is a brilliant and dedicated scientist who will be the one to unlock the mystery of the cure for cancer.

Letters of condolence can be sent to the Campbell Family:
49201 Avenida Anselmo
La Quinta, CA 92253

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.

Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

He will be missed.


Oct 20, 2008, 3:43 PM

Views: 24399
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

So Michael is gone. Tell me it aint so. Very hard to believe that this kind, generous and dynamic man has left us. My memories with Mike seem endless and I will forever miss him.

I too had the good fortune of meeting Mike around 1982 when by chance I moved into a house in Naples right next door to him! We soon found out that we both loved sailing and racing, and off we went on his Cal40 “Murphy’s Law” Of course, Dicko showed up with his band of Kiwis for the Con Cup and soon we had sailors camped out all over the place! Great fun was had by all as you can imagine. Then came friends like Doug Pye, Dr. Bob, Leroy Watson and the “Colonel”. What a riot we always had and Mike’s hospitality and generosity was second to none.

Mike began an evolution of boats that was fun to watch, and sail on, starting I believe, with Apple Pie, Illusion (Murphy’s Law II), Rambunctious and then the Barnett 52 “Climax”. On Climax we sailed 2 Transpacs and even won a Long Beach Race Week! Mike was beaming and so were we! Then came his beautiful wife Victoria and the almost as good looking 70’ sled “Victoria”. How many races we sailed on Victoria (and won) (Mexican races, Transpacs) I can’t remember but we were hard to beat. There were victories as well as defeats, such as the round down in 40kts off Monterey in an Aldo Alessio race. I found out that vertical nav tables are useless. What a night it was motoring back 25 miles in the trough with no rig! Michael’s vocabulary was astounding! My sea stories like this with Mike would fill a sea bag for sure.

Mike’s commitment to excellence became evident with the Turbo “Victoria”, the TP52 and others leading up to the present “Peligroso”. He demanded the best and sailed with the best. Definitely always in control, Mike remained humbled by his many experiences at sea and made everyone know that they were appreciated. He was kind, loved a good story and a laugh and was on top of his game in both yachting and business, I would say.

So thanks for all the memories MJ. Thanks for all the opportunities you gave me. I cherished our friendship. I can’t believe how much I’m gonna miss you. Thanks for the Johnny Mazatta Vic. Always excellent! Mike, I also will miss handing you the Post It note in your bunk with our 0800 position while we listen to the sched on the Sideband!

Now that you have jibed and sailed away with your own breeze, I can’t wait until the day I see you again. Schlong!

Robbie (HD) Wallace


Oct 20, 2008, 7:27 PM

Views: 24338
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

Hi, My name is Sheila "aka" Chicky. I started my journey with Mr. C. when he acquired his newest 'Big Boat' "Victoria 5". Along with my dearest friend, Cherie, I was part of his new crew as stewardess'/cooks/organizers/personal name it, I loved it all. I had many, many eventful, exciting and wonderful experiences and moments with Mr. C and Victoria along with their dear children friends and multitude guests. I cannot even start to describe or put in words how gracious and comfortable Mr. C. made me feel around himself, his family and being part of the team. He was one of the most generous souls I have ever met.
My blessing for Mike are with Victoria and all of you who loved and lived and shared Mike's awesome life. He will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.
"And then, the unspeakable purity - and freshness of the air! There was just enough heat to enhance the value of the breeze, and just enough wind to keep the whole sea in motion, to make the waves come bounding to the shore, foaming and sparkling, as if wild with glee." Anne Bronte.
Mike, we will always see you smiling with glee!
With Love and Peace,
Sheila Cicconetti (Chicky)

The Publisher

Oct 21, 2008, 11:19 AM

Views: 24140
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

I have had the privilege of knowing Mike Campbell for less than two years. It only took me a fraction of that time to learn of his competitiveness, but above all, his generosity and his kindness. Mike did everything that he could to combine the best that our sport has to offer with the individuals that represent the future of competitive sailing. I was fortunate enough to be included in his recent campaigns and look forward to participating in all that Mike has influenced. Being someone that has grown as a sailor through the generosity of others, I cannot say that there is anyone that has given me a better opportunity than Mike has.

Being a member of the latest class of young sailors I can say that there is a lot for us to learn and admire when looking back at Mike’s legacy. He would always ask for our best effort with a smile on his face. Please enjoy everyday that you are on the water. He always did. For all of you that are questioning whether or not to go sailing for a while, he would have recommended that you “go sailing!” I agree and promise it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Mike Campbell was and will continue to be the standard that many sailors can learn from. God bless Michael, Victoria and his family. His graciousness is something that I will never forget.

John “JP” Peschelt Jr.

dan blick

Oct 24, 2008, 11:27 AM

Views: 23841
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS: Mike Campbell

It is a sad day in the sailing world now that Mike has departed. I was fortunate enough to have worked (BN'd) for Mike for three years. He was a great man to work for and always treated me right. I started working for him when he owned Climax, Barnett 52, and was with him when he built Victoria, Andrews 70. He and his wife Victoria treated me like family and when I needed help, they were their for me. I will forever miss his kindness, generosity, and mostly I will miss his fun loving ways and ever present smile. My sincere condolences to Victoria and the children.
Dan Blick
AKA: DanDan the Boatman