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North Sails 2021 LEADERBOARD

Leading America's Cup broadcaster PJ Montgomery on 50 years of sailing commentary

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 23 May 20:50 PDT 24 May 2021
Peter Montgomery interviews Peter Blake with Russell Coutts after the 1995 America's Cup win in San Diego © Montgomery archives

Peter Montgomery has the most recognisable voice in world sailing and is known internationally as the Voice of the America’s Cup. He has commentated on the last 13 editions, starting in 1980, of the America's Cup including live commentary on every America's Cup race in which New Zealand has competed.

He's also been involved in the broadcast of all 13 round the world races and the last 10 Olympic Games, covering Rowing as well as Sailing. For many years PJ was a familiar sight in a Driza-Bone all weather overcoat at Auckland based Test and other significant Rugby Matches providing expert sideline commentary. He also hosted a regular Saturday morning sailing show, as well as hosting live radio sports shows, and provided commentary for the America's cup movie "Wind".

In this podcast, part of Yachting New Zealand's Broad Reach series PJ reflects on some of the highlights of his 51-year broadcasting and commentary career, how he stumbled into the industry, how he pioneered many of the approaches to modern broadcasting and his relationship with a mythical little old lady with blue rinse hair from Riverton.

He gives his thoughts on the 36th America's Cup and what could have happened. He also looks at the 37th America's Cup, funding and Emirates Team NZ's unresolved issues with the Kiwi Government and says that he understood the idea for the so-called "Deed of Gift Challenge" came from within ETNZ.

He also talks about the story behind one of the most recognisable pieces of New Zealand sporting commentary, the time Dennis Conner labelled Team New Zealand cheats, what made Sir Peter Blake tick and how Team Zealand wouldn’t have won the 1995 America’s Cup without him, and his take on his sometimes frosty relationship with Grant Dalton. On a more personal level, he opens up about one episode in his life he’s not altogether proud about, namely his reaction to being told he had cancer.

Peter is full of stories, and has an incredible recall for details and dates.

He's one of the special characters whose influence goes well beyond sailing because he's had an enduring impact on sport in general and New Zealand broadcasting, plus he drops plenty of tips for those who aspire to any verbal commentary on the sport.

To hear the full almost two hour podcast as PJ Montgomery looks back over 50 years of broadcasting and the unique experiences he has from the sidelines of sailing and sport.

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