At Only 21 Years Old Liu Xue Is Taking On One Of The Toughest Races In The World
Published: Tuesday, 25 November 2014
What were you doing when you were 21 years old?
Most of us were studying at university, or settling into our first job, or living away from home for the first time. Even if you were a sailor, chances are you were doing day races at the club supplemented by some weekend regattas and maybe a few overnight races.
It’s doubtful that you were even imagining competing in one of the toughest ocean races in the world, let alone doing it. Add to this, a crew who don’t speak your language and a course that will take you across oceans you’ve only heard of.
“My name is Liu Xue, Black. I am 21 years old and this is my first offshore race in my life.”
Submerged into a new culture, new language and new adventure, it would seem as though this young sailor has been thrown in at the deep end.
“I am a little bit excited,” says Liu. “Well, I’m very excited but I try not to be. I don’t want to be distracted. I want to be focused. I try to stay level. So I’m only a little bit excited, not a lot!”
Sure, the best solution for pure performance might have been to keep the same crew as the first leg, who already have more Volvo Ocean 65 Race experience than the rest of China put together. But this project is more than just racing to win – it’s about sharing, educating, motivating and developing the future talent in Chinese sailing. It’s about putting ocean racing on the map in China. And for that Dongfeng Race Team needs to get more than just two sailors around the world.
Whether they are 24 or 46, Swedish, French or Chinese, it was obvious that not a single crewmember doubted Liu for a second and had already taken him under their wings.
Through the help of his teammates, Liu claims he is no longer scared of anything and ready to take on the adventure with the rest of the team. “The team is a big family,” says Liu. “We eat together, sleep together, we talk about everything on the boat. We are like brothers. Well…maybe Pascal is like a father! A Volvo Ocean Race sailor should be a team player, should be determined in mind with a strong body and should know and understand the boat. They should be prepared to confront any problems that may occur instead of trying to escape or turn away.”
Spoken like a true Volvo Ocean Racing sailor, Liu has embraced the spirit of the race.
Check out the video from Liu: