"Hugely proud": That's how friends and a former sailing coach describe their emotions after Kerikeri sailor Blair Tuke's medal win at the Tokyo Olympics.
On Tuesday Tuke, along with his long-time teammate Peter Burling, won silver in the 49er sailing event, just days after Portia Woodman, of Kaikohe, won gold in the women's rugby sevens final.
Dave Keen, Kerikeri Cruising Club commodore and long-time friend of the Tuke family, said he was hugely proud, a feeling that would be shared by all of Kerikeri and New Zealand.
Keen closed his shop early and was glued to the TV for the 4.33pm Tuesday start.
"I thought it was a bloody good race. They gave it their all and did really well. It's a pity the Germans couldn't inch ahead of the Brits." [That would have pushed Britain into second place and given the gold to New Zealand.]
Keen said there was no reason to be disappointed with silver because any Olympic medal was a huge achievement.
The Kerikeri businessman organised homecoming parades after Tuke and Burling's silver medals in London in 2012 and gold in Rio in 2016, but a parade this time would be difficult given the pair's busy schedule.
They were heading straight from Tokyo to a series of SailGP regattas in Europe, and even if they came back to New Zealand between they faced a 14-day quarantine.
Another option was a civic reception at some point in the future for Tuke and Woodman.
Woodman was already back in New Zealand and in quarantine, while Tuke would stay in Tokyo until the last of the sailing events.
Keen had already contacted Far North Mayor John Carter to discuss how their successes could be honoured.
He had also offered to help Kaikohe schools considering a homecoming celebration for Woodman.
Carter said Tuke and Woodman's medal wins were yet more examples of Northlanders stepping up on the world stage.
"I'm absolutely bloody stoked. It just shows the calibre of people we have here."
The council would consider how their achievements could be recognised, he said.
Kerikeri sailing coach Derry Godbert – whose youth sail training courses have been credited with the town's success in sailing – was still buzzing the morning after Tuke and Burling's medal win.
He said the Kiwis' competitors were already training hard while they were still competing in the America's Cup. The pair only returned to sailing 49ers a few months before the Olympics.
"They've got so much on their plates. To come off a major America's Cup triumph and have a very short lead-in time but still win a medal is quite remarkable."
Godbert was impressed by the pair's gutsy tactics in the final race.
"I loved the way they did that port tack start. That's a brave thing to do, and typical of those two. It's unusual and very difficult in a sloppy sea and light breeze, but they very nearly carried it off," Godbert said.
"They did a wonderful job and sailed as best they could, especially given the amount of training the other competitors had compared to them. The British just had a tiny percentage more in boat speed, which made the difference between silver and gold."
Tuke and Burling, who had been favourites in the 49er event, told RNZ they planned some time away from sailing before considering a fourth Olympic campaign.
Tuke said they wouldn't get back to Aotearoa until mid-October so it would be "a bit of a wait" before anyone at home got to see their medals.
They were looking forward to spending summer in New Zealand, hanging out with friends and family and looking back on the past few years.
"We're both pretty knackered, so we're going to make sure we enjoy this and recharge and we'll figure out the road from there."
Though raised in Tauranga, Burling also has close connections with Northland.
His father was raised and learnt to sail in Whangārei and his grandparents live in Kerikeri.
Derry Godbert said credit for Tuke and Burling's success lay with their parents, who had instilled a love of sailing from an early age and had been hugely supportive.
— additional reporting RNZ