The "voice of the America's Cup" PJ Montgomery has warned challengers that Defender Team New Zealand have plenty up their sleeve on the eve of the Prada Cup.
Montgomery, who has become synonymous with the Auld Mug since delivering his live commentary of the event involving a New Zealand boat in 1986, also predicts the Kiwi syndicate will face stiff competition in the America's Cup match in March.
The challengers - American Magic, Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK - will face off from tomorrow for the right to challenge TNZ in the Cup match in March and according to Montgomery, will be vastly improved thanks to a number of changes made since the World Series in December.
"These are significant changes, too. They've made changes to a variety of things from their foils to the sails to all sorts of other things in the way these boats are set up. And they've had to – because they are now playing for keeps," said Montgomery.
The veteran broadcaster, who will soon be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame and is again behind the microphone for live commentary across Gold AM, Newstalk ZB and iHeartRadio, is expecting Team NZ to show plenty of improvement, too.
"Team New Zealand look good and I hear through my people in the field that they have a lot of good stuff to come yet. But, just having a great boat is one thing. Putting it in the right spot is another thing altogether.
"They look quite good and that's encouraging so far. The great unknown is what the challengers are coming up with – as I mentioned earlier, all the challengers will continually be making changes and potential improvements."
Montgomery singled out the US challenger for some high praise.
"American Magic was first here, and their work ethic has been second to none. They have worked really hard and certainly the afterguard led by Dean Barker has worked incredibly hard on their starts and it shows really in all of the starts they have had so far," he said.
Catch PJ Montgomery's commentary during every race on Gold AM between 15 January and 22 February, and on Gold AM and Newstalk ZB between 6 – 15 March.
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Be aware that traffic will be busy, and parking will be very limited.
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus instead.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride to the Cup.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.