Hawke's Bay's finest Olympic hour rocked the region on Friday as local rowers Emma Twigg and Tom Mackintosh won gold medals within 60-minutes of each other in Tokyo.
Schools students and teachers, family, friends, and former coaches cheered on the athletes.
Not since 2008 has the region had not one, but two, Olympic gold medal winners.
Former Napier woman Emma Twigg claimed gold after winning her women's single sculls, followed less than an hour later by Havelock North-born rower Tom Mackintosh in the men's eight.
Hawke's Bay's last Olympic win came from twin sisters Caroline Meyer and Georgina Early (nee Evers-Swindell) who won double sculls golds in both 2004 and 2008. The region also boasts a 1972 gold from Keith Trask as part of the coxless four.
Thirty-four-year-old Twigg, a Napier Girls' High School and Hawke's Bay Rowing Club alumni took the win in a time of 7m 13.97s, four seconds ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee's Hanna Prakatsen who took silver in 7m 17.39 and Austria's Magdalena Lobnig bronze in 7m 19.72s
It was an Olympic best with Twigg blitzing the field and taking an early 500m lead at the start.
Twigg has previously won gold at the World Championships as a single sculler in 2014 but this is her first Olympic medal.
She was in disbelief as she crossed the finished line.
"I didn't hear the hooter and thought I had stopped before the line," she said.
"I'm lost for words. I can't believe it. All these years, many, many disappointments. I can't thank the people I have surrounded myself with enough. They got me here. That's not my result, it's my team.
"I had a great moment with my coach Mike [Roger] before. He didn't know if he was going to be here with me after a car crash. This is fate," she said through tears.
It was Twigg's fourth Olympic Games, with two previous fourth-place finishes.
She took two years out following Rio, worked for the IOC and it was while at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018 that she started entertaining thoughts about a comeback.
Abandoning a plan to cycle from Switzerland to Singapore, Twigg instead returned to New Zealand and her partner Charlotte (they married last year).
She also returned to Lake Karapiro with a reinvigorated passion for the sport forged on the Clive River under the eye of her father Peter, a coach at the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club.
Her father Peter Twigg, a partner at law firm Langley Twigg, was not available for comment but the law firm posted congratulations to the winners on their Facebook page.
"A great day in our office! Congratulations to all the Kiwis today - 2 x Olympic gold medals to Hawke's Bay Rowing Club, and one in particular that means a lot to us. Extremely proud."
Rowing under the colours of the Hawke's Bay rowing Club, club captain Belinda VanderPeet said Twigg was "still 100 per cent a Hawke's Bay girl".
The club's first Olympic medal wins, she said they were "so very proud of them" for achieving their goals.
"[Twigg] put the time in and so much work.
"This is the result of all that hard work. It's very special."
The club has a rowers programme starting this weekend and expected a large turnout after the double gold wins.
"It's so exciting. It puts excitement back into the sport."
She said the club was lucky to have been part of their journeys.
Mackintosh's father and former coach, Jock Mackintosh, and mother and District Court Judge, Bridget Mackintosh, watched their 24-year-old nervously from The Cloud grandstand in Auckland.
Jock said they were "overwhelmingly happy and stunned".
"Getting married was the happiest day of my life, but this is first equal."
The regional significance of this achievement was also not lost on him, adding he was thinking of the Twigg family and how fantastic it was that Hawke's Bay was producing such high quality rowers.
"Hawke's Bay can be extraordinarily proud. I think back to the early days of Tom's training on the Clive river, his coach Doc McDonald and everyone else that's contributed over the years and I think that they would be over the moon."
"It is a quintessential kiwi sports achievement. We are all so proud."
Lindisfarne College principal Stuart Hakeney said massive cheers erupted throughout the school as their old boy crossed the finish line in seat seven, alongside Thomas Murray, Shaun Kirkham, Dan Williamson, Sam Bosworth, Hamish Bond, Phillip Wilson and Matt MacDonald.
Hakeney said it was an "incredible achievement" and "huge coup for the school".
"It means that those boys that were thinking about getting into rowing get to set their sights on Olympian measures of success."
When he returns to Hawke's Bay, Mackintosh, along with his father, will help to implement a novice rowing programme for the school and continue to inspire young boys to follow in his wake.
Napier Girls' High School principal Dawn Ackroyd said she was "on cloud nine" after the whole school packed into the assembly to watch their former student Twigg row her way to gold.
"It was just incredible. The cheering was deafening and there were a few tears of joy."
Ackroyd described former Head Girl Twigg as role model student, and said current students would be inspired by what she had accomplished.
"I said to my students 'this could be you'."