The sustained success of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray extended to the supreme prize at the Halberg Awards.
The rowers are used to tough encounters on the water but faced a different kind of battle, with Brendon McCullum's historic triple-century sure to have garnered a good share of votes.
Bond and Murray claimed New Zealand sport's top prize in 2012, and the coxless pair's dominance of rowing extends well beyond that victory. Through six seasons and 19 consecutive Fisa international regattas, Bond and Murray have remained unbeaten in their discipline, even forcing their fiercest rivals to switch classes and escape the juggernaut.
Tonight at Vector Arena that juggernaut swallowed up a couple of world champions, the globe's top-ranked female golfer as well as the once-in-a-lifetime achievement from the Black Caps' captain.
Bond and Murray opened the evening by taking the team of the year prize, seeing off stiff competition from the men's sprint cyclists and the men's 49er sailors, who both won world championships in 2014.
The pair then edged other big winners of the night - sportswoman of the year Lydia Ko, disabled sportsperson of the year Mary Fisher and sportsman of the year McCullum - to clinch the supreme trophy.
It was their selection ahead of McCullum that would have raised the most eyebrows. The cricketer enjoyed a career year both off and on the pitch, standing up to corruption in the sport while leading the best Black Caps side in recent memory to a number of impressive wins.
But the undoubted highlight of his annus mirabilis came in February, when a match-saving knock of 302 against India made him the first New Zealander to reach a triple-century.
Bond and Murray, however, swept him aside in the same manner in which they dispatch all-comers on rowing courses all over the world.
August produced a fifth world title in the coxless pair, racing home in Amsterdam by more than four seconds in a time narrowly outside the speed they achieved in winning gold at London. For good measure, the pair were then joined by coxswain Caleb Shepherd to smash the world record in the coxed pair.
While that event will be missing from the programme at next year's Olympics in Rio, their specialist discipline will provide another chance to stand atop the dais.
No one would be surprised by another gold medal in the coxless pair - and it would cause similarly low-level shockwaves should Bond and Murray eventually win another Halberg Award.
Athletes shine on red carpet
Sequins, sparkles and figure-hugging floor-length gowns were in order at last night's Halberg Awards in Auckland.
One of the biggest nights in sport, the awards - now in its 52nd year - were hosted by former Silver Fern captain Anna Stanley and television presenter Eric Young at Vector Arena.
Kiwi sporting royalty Rob and Sonia Waddell were one of the first couples to hit the sun-drenched red carpet.
With her sequinned, cherry-coloured shoestring dress and red stilettos, Sonia Waddell - a former New Zealand rower and cyclist - cut a stunning figure next to her husband.
All Black skipper Richie McCaw and his Black Sticks girlfriend Gemma Flynn were another red carpet hit.
Flynn, who had her blonde hair pulled into a sleek ponytail for the night, teamed a figure-hugging white lace dress with nude heels.
McCaw wore his official All Blacks blazer while his team-mate Brodie Retallick chose a dark-grey suit for the evening. Both Retallick and McCaw had been nominated for sportsman of the year.
"I'm not sure how much celebrating [we'll do]. I've got to drive back to Hamilton for training first thing in the morning," Retallick said last night.
Olympic and World Champion para-swimmer Sophie Pascoe sported one the glitziest outfits of the evening. Her floor-length beaded and sequinned gold gown by Theia weighed 5kg.
Olympic and World Champion shot put gold medallist Valerie Adams had one of the biggest entourages of the night.
Adams, who wore a custom-made black gown from Tongan label Bou's Fashion, attended the event with her two sisters, her partner, physio and coaching and management team.
Silver detailing along the neckline of Adams' gown represented her Pacific Island heritage, the athlete said.
• Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (Rowing)
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Team of the Year Supreme Award
• Lydia Ko (Golfing)
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year Award
• Brendon McCullum (Cricket)
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportsman of the Year
• Mary Fisher (Para-swimming)
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
• Former Kiwis captain Stacey Jones and Olympic champion boardsailor Barbara Kendall Inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
• Barbara Kendall
The Sport New Zealand Leadership Award
• Brendon McCullum
New Zealand's Favourite Sporting Moment winner
• Regan Gough (Cycling)
• Anthony Peden (Cycling)
SKY SPORT Coach of the Year
• Dawn Jones (Netball)
Lion Foundation Lifetime Achievement.
- additional reporting Teuila Fuatai