From Newport in 1980 onwards, Peter “PJ” Montgomery covered twelve America’s Cup series through a period of profound change as a broadcaster and as the “Voice of the America’s Cup.” His distinctive delivery and riveting commentary have captured, entertained, and informed audiences, making him an instantly recognizable and popular figure in the America’s Cup.
Montgomery’s commentary captivated not just sailors but millions of non-sailors, converting many into knowledgeable fans of the sport. This growth in the mainstream public’s interest in the America’s Cup fostered commercial and government support for the Cup-encouraging new teams and new countries to compete for yachting’s oldest prize. When Hollywood produced Wind, a feature length movie about the Cup, Montgomery was invited to play the commentator. Montgomery helped convince Michael Fay to lead New Zealand’s first America’s Cup challenge; KZ-7 made an impressive debut in the 1986-87 series, finishing as a runner-up in the challenger trials. This promising start led to New Zealand’s long record of participation and eventual America’s Cup victories. Without his enthusiasm and strong support of sailing, it is doubtful New Zealand would have entered the international world of sailing in the way that it did in the latter part of the twentieth century.
Over his fifty-year career, Montgomery strove for accuracy, earning the trust of his audience and the sport’s competitors. As a result, he has earned recognition in his home country and overseas, including “Sports Journalist of the Year” and several “Sports Broadcaster of the Year” awards. In 2021, he will be the first chronicler from New Zealand to be inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.