Alex Maloney and Molly Meech's campaign is over at the Tokyo Olympics, after a frustrating afternoon at Kamakura on Saturday.
That disappointment for the New Zealand sailing team was balanced by an authoritative performance by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who have stormed to the top of the men's 49er standings, while Josh Junior enjoyed his best racing so far in the Finn.
But it was a sad end for Maloney and Meech, regarded as one of New Zealand's brightest medal hopes ahead of this regatta.
They needed to have a spectacular finale in the last three races on Saturday but couldn't do enough.
The 2016 silver medallists were 12th at the end of the preliminary round for the Women's 49er FX, two places outside the cut off for the Monday's medal race.
They finished on 102 points, with 10th-placed Singapore on 97, while Brazil (70) topped the preliminary standings.
A disastrous 20th place finish in race eleven sealed their fate, leaving them too far adrift of their rivals and tipping them from ninth overall to 12th. They needed the top contenders to falter badly in the last race, but no one did and their sixth place, which matched their finish in Saturday's opening race, was never going to be enough.
Their campaign in Japan got off to the worst possible start, with a 16th and a disqualification in their first two races. They recovered after that, to a degree, with four top five placings, but an 18th on Friday and Saturday's 20th sent them backwards.
But Burling and Tuke seem to be on an inexorable path to another Olympic medal, after a commanding performance on Saturday in Fujisawa.
The Kiwi duo are top of the overall standings (52 points) in a tight field, ahead of Great Britain (56), Spain (56), Germany (66) and Denmark (66), ahead of Tuesday's medal race.
The defending Olympic men's 49er champions had a superb start to the afternoon, with a fifth-place finish in race 10 followed by a second in race 11.
After a 12th place on the opening day and a 10th in the fifth race, the pair had been near flawless, with a first, third, sixth, second, fifth and second, before an 11th in Saturday's final race blotted their copybook.
Race eleven on Saturday was a nail biter, as they finished only one second behind the Polish pair in a frantic race to the line. They had duelled with the European crew for most of the race, ahead by eight seconds at the final mark before losing ground on the run to the finish.
Saturday's opening race showcased their skills, as they progressed from 14th to finish fifth.
But they were unable to overcome a similarly poor start in the final race, 15th at the first mark before eventually progressing to 11th.
Adding to the positive sentiment, Josh Junior is poised to strike in the Finn competition, after two strong performances on Saturday.
The 31-year-old managed the tricky conditions at Sagami perfectly, with a first and fourth finish, easily his best day so far in Japan.
Those results have lifted the 2021 America's Cup winner to fifth place overall on 38 points, behind Great Britain (20), Spain (26), Hungary (29) and the Netherlands (36).
There are two more heats on Sunday, before Tuesday's medal race.
Junior, who finished seventh four years ago in Rio, has overcome a difficult start to the regatta – with a 12th and 10th place in the first two races, to accelerate up the leader board.
After a dearth of international competition due to Covid-19, he has adjusted quickly.
Junior has finished inside the top eight in each of his last six races, highlighted by a first, third and fourth.
Defending Olympic champion Giles Scott remains the man to beat, after a string of impressive performances. The Ineos Team UK tactician has already won five races, including the eighth race on Saturday to sit on 20 points.
But Junior became just the second man topple Scott in this regatta with his win on Saturday and finished only 13 seconds behind the Brit in the second contest.
In other action Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson had a disappointing afternoon in the Nacra 17 on Saturday, recording finishes of 15th, ninth and 18th.
Those results – their worst of the regatta so far – leaves the duo in 12th overall.
The Olympic newcomers are on 91 points, with the 10th-placed United States' combination on 71.
There are three more preliminary races scheduled on Sunday, ahead of Tuesday's medal race.
How the Kiwi crews are placed
49er (Blair Tuke and Peter Burling) - 1st after 12/12 races. Qualify for the medal race.
Finn (Josh Junior) - 5th after 8/10 races.
470 (Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox) - 3rd after 6/10 races.
Laser (Sam Meech) - 8th after 10/10 races. Qualified for medal race.
49er FX (Alex Maloney and Molly Meech) - 12th after 12/12 races. Out of contention.
Nacra 17 (Erica Dawson and Micah Wilkinson) - 12th after 9/12 races.