"PT" Townend 1998
Peter Townend known in his competitive days for his patented
soul arch, PT made it look effortless in any size surf.
In 1976, his surfing prowess took him to the pinnacle
of professional achievement when he became world champion
of the first pro surf tour organization, International
Professional Surfing Association founded by Fred Hemmings.
In 1967 at age 15, PT started surfing the consistent point
breaks of Coolangatta, which included the legendary Kirra,
along Australia's Gold Coast. It wasn't long before the
young Australian bagged a few respectable finishes in
the Australian Championships and Queensland Titles and
began a serious run into the international pro ratings
with a third place finish in the '72 World Championships
in San Diego. Just seven years after picking up a surfboard
for the first time, PT was on the North Shore of Hawaii
competing in 20-foot-plus performance of his life, landing
a spot in the finals and successfully shaking a nasty
reputation as a small wave only surfer.
PT's strong competitive results helped fuel the next phase
of his surfing career. PT was one of the first pro surfers
to develop an image that could be marketed and translated
into bankable returns. With the help of journalist Mike
Hurst, PT got together with fellow Australian competitor
Ian Cairns to form a marketing and promotional team they
named the "Bronzed Aussies." PT has since used
his innate knowledge of marketing to elevate the sport
of surfing to new heights. He was executive director and
the coach for the NSSA national team. For 10 years he
lead the advertising department at Surfing magazine. He
also continues to pursue a 10-year television broadcasting
career, with a series of televised surfing events currently
airing on ESPN, and he currently runs the marketing department
at Rusty, one of the top brands in the surf industry.
PHOTO: In 1934 Wheaties introduced the "Breakfast of Champions." In 2011 Legends Premium Lager featured Surf Champion PT on their packaging and advertisements.