The best women's 470 sailing crews are trailing a Muppet off the Dorset coast, eight races into the Olympic regatta.
Muppet is the name of Jo Aleh and Olivia "Polly" Powrie's boat. The pair have breezed into the gold medal spot with successive victories in races seven and eight. They started the day second behind Britain who subsequently recorded a fifth and a second. The class has three races, including the medal race, to go.
New Zealand have 21 points (accounting for their discard result, a 10th in race five). Britain is on 25 points with the Netherlands on 28. Those three countries look set to fight out the medals with France the next best crew on 47 points.
Aleh and Powrie are on the cusp of history. No New Zealand women's crew boat has won an Olympic gold medal. Boardsailor Barbara Kendall is the only New Zealand woman to win a sailing gold. The country's sole women's crew boat medal was Jan Shearer and Leslie Egnot's silver in the 470 at Barcelona.
The form of Team Jolly (Jo + Polly) reflects their previous efforts at the Weymouth venue in the Sail for Gold regattas; they won both.
The duo have shown a clinical streak to win or place at major regattas since forming full-time in 2009. They finished third behind Spain and Britain at the world championships (for all classes) in Perth last December and fourth at the specific 470 class world championships off Barcelona in May behind the Brits, Dutch and French. That result came despite Aleh faceplanting off her bike in the middle of the regatta.
The result saw her take the course doing a passing imitation for an Egyptian mummy.
Aleh (26) and Powrie (24) have years of pedigree. They won the world 420 world championships when matched for the first time in 2007. Aleh went on to finish seventh in the single-handed Laser Radial at the Beijing Olympics.
High Performance Sport New Zealand has invested $11.3 million in yachting over this Olympic cycle and looks set for at least a two-medal return.
The men's 49er crew of Blair Tuke and Peter Burling are guaranteed silver, provided they make the start line for tomorrow's medal race. Today was a rest day.
In the men's 470, Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders have an outside chance of a bronze medal but suffered a disappointing 12th in race 10 today. They are fifth overall on 72 points - their discard result was a disqualification in race one - going into Thursday's double point medal race. Argentina are third on 57 points; Italy are fourth on 60. Australia and Britain are well ahead, racing off for gold and silver.
Boardsailor JP Tobin finished seventh overall after an eighth place in his medal race.By Andrew Alderson Email Andrew