Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast have made their mark on the ripples of Tokyo's Sea Forest Waterway.
The Kiwi duo showed why many have tipped them as one of the country's top medal hopes, cruising to victory in their opening heat of the women's pair against their counterparts from Denmark, Ireland and Spain to book their spot in the semifinal.
It wasn't long before the New Zealanders were racing from the front. Gracefully gliding over the water with every stroke, Gowler and Prendergast held a five second lead by the 1000m mark of the 2000m race.
The rest of the heat did make up ground in the second half, but the Kiwis comfortably crossed the line about three seconds ahead of Denmark in second place.
"We were really happy with our heat," Prendergast said. "We haven't raced anyone for so long that you just don't know what's going to happen, but we were really stoked with our first race. Just to get a good one under our belts and now we know the week from here on in is going to be pretty intense and it's going to be a full-on race to the line in the semifinal, so we're excited for the next one."
The duo were back in action later in the day, jumping straight into the women's eight for the opening heat of that competition. In a far more competitive affair than their first race of the day, an impressive final 500m stretch saw the Kiwis get past a strong effort from the Chinese crew and fend off the Canadians to claim the win.
Winning the heat means the women's eight go straight through to the final, with all other teams in the heat being forced to race again in the repechage stages.
"I'm not going to lie, it did cross my mind that ideally we didn't want another race," Gowler said. "[But] we went into that knowing it could be an option and we were prepared for that."
Prendergast added: "We found out pretty late that we'd be doing two races in one day, but as it's worked out it might actually help us out in the rest of the week. We've got a few more days off now which is maybe a blessing in disguise and, honestly, it's probably good to get the nerves out of both boats and get a race in both boats."
That will be the case for the men's eight, who finished second in their heat – being unable to match the Netherlands. With just seven entries into the men's eight field and six qualifying for the final, only the team who finishes last in the repechage will miss out on a spot in the medal race.
Earlier in the day, Stephen Jones and Brook Robertson secured automatic qualification into the semifinals of the men's pair, finishing their opening heat in third place.
The pair finished well behind Australia in first and Italy in second, with the two charging ahead early, with the French pair rounding out the heat.
The Italians got off to the best start of the four pairs, holding a slim lead early on before the Australians got into a rhythm and shot passed them.
The Kiwis battled away in third for the entire race, comfortably ahead of the French but well back from the leading two.