Sail Melbourne

Dorset Echo: Lijia Xu wins Sail Melbourne Lijia Xu wins Sail Melbourne

They say that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Melbourne and that was certainly true. In the space of a couple of days we had flash flooding which saw the road completely disappear and the drains back up, to bright sunshine which meant I burnt my arms even with factor thirty suntan cream. I was so worried about getting burnt on my face I had so much lotion I looked like a ghost. We had some quite windy races and also winds so light I could see my reflection in the water, so I was surprised the regatta was not more high scoring.

I have also, along with a number of mates, started to grow a moustache for the month of November in aid of Cancer for Men. I lost one of my best friends from University to cancer as well as my Uncle who lived with me for 23 years. So this has always been close to my heart. I started off not shaving for a full week and I am gradually removing the facial hair to leave a moustache at the end of the month before shaving it off on December 1st.

I was a bit concerned that my top lip may look rather pale after being hidden from the sun for a month, especially the strong Australian sun, but we shall see. Interestingly the Chinese have not asked about my sudden increase in facial hair, whereas for the Western sailors it is the first thing they ask when they see me. In fact when I went to a local Gym to find a place for the team to train the first thing the lady behind the counter said was, “Good on you,” pointing at my hairy top lip.

The regatta itself was a mixed bag and certainly a learning experience for me. I feel the more time I work with Lijia before the Olympics the better. She won Sail Melbourne which is the first regatta in the 2011/2012 World Cup series which was a great start but it is just that, a start… training starts again tomorrow and she has asked to be pushed hard!

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