Eve’nin All

It’s Christmas Eve, what are you doing reading an America’s Cup blog? Have a beer. Wrap some presents. Eat something delicious. Sneak a chocolate or two. Go to the petrol station and buy your wife a gift…sorry that’s really, really bad advice. Pat the dog. Walk the damn thing. Light some candles. Hang a hopeful stocking. Sit back in your favourite armchair and thank your lucky stars you’re not a British boatbuilder in Auckland or stuck in Southern Ocean doldrums in the Vendee Globe race. Whatever you are doing. Wherever you are. Have a safe and happy Christmas, however you choose to celebrate it.

© Kos Picture Source Ltd www.kospictures.com

I’d like to show some appreciation to each and every one of the 37,543 people who visited Rule69blog in the last 24 days. I restarted the blog on the 1st December and after two days when it registered a grand total of 34 unique visitors (thanks family), it suddenly exploded.

And it’s a truly global audience. Namaste to my 375 readers in Japan. Suostei to the 172 in Cambodia. Assalaam alaikum to the 94 strong posse in Saudi Arabia. G’day to the 1,719 in Australia. Good on yer, to the 12,840 in Kiwiland and ‘How do you do’ to the 15,374 in the UK. And not forgetting 4,864 of my most vocal readers – howdy yanks!

The list of countries goes on, my knowledge of international greetings doesn’t. But your support and readership, wherever you are in the world, is hugely appreciated.

© Sailing Energy / American Magic

And to those that have donated to the site so generously. Thank you. It’s a humbling experience and I am forever amazed at the kindness of strangers. I am slowly working through sending a personal email to each and every one of you. Bear with me but thank you so much. It keeps the site free of adverts and commercial tie-ups and allows complete editorial freedom.

The powers that be hate this site – true to form, my account has been ‘suspended’ by the America’s Cup organisers. The Prada Team have also withheld access. Ineos, unsurprisingly, the same. Was it something I said? Poor show. Engagement is 99% of public relations. Amateurs.

I am, however, very grateful to ETNZ and American Magic for giving me access to their archives and to KOS pictures too. Professionals.

I am also bowled over by the editors of some of the biggest sailing websites, magazines and daily emails (you all know who you are) for supporting me. Professionals.

And to the New Zealand Herald and Stuff.co.nz down in the land of the long white cloud – thank you for featuring my commentary in your newspapers and on your websites. Professionals.

© Richard Hodder /Emirates Team New Zealand

But most of all, thank you to you, the reader. I am so grateful for the comments, the gossip, the whispers, the thoughts, the kickings, the encouragement, the good and the bad. Sailing is a great sport. The America’s Cup is the apex of the game. And it’s an endless fascination. As long as it’s going, I’ll keep writing.

Thank you for contributing and I wish you a very Happy Christmas.

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