The Hawke's Bay kayaker Aimee Fisher has won the K1 200 and K1 500 metre races at the national canoe racing championships on Lake Karapiro.
The 22-year-old paddler capitalised on Lisa Carrington's absence from the individual boats.
Carrington, who won the Supreme Halberg Award for 2016, collected four gold medals at the regatta in various team boats.
Fisher's reward is likely to be a spot racing alongside Carrington, the world and Olympic champion, on the World Cup series this year.
"Coming into this weekend, my only goal was to be brave in the 500m and that's the first time I've ever managed to do it in a race," Fisher said, after heading off Olympic K4 teammate Caitlin Ryan (North Shore) by 0.80secs in the final.
Fisher admitted she was terrified of the 500m.
"You just paddle into this darkness and everything hurts - you can nearly taste blood when you're paddling and your muscles have been scorched by lactic acid.
"Coming through the 200m, I heard all these kids and when you've got kids running down the side of the bank cheering your name, you've got to rise. That gave me a lot of courage and I charged home."
Ryan also finished second to Fisher in Friday's K1 200m and the two paddlers are likely to pair up as a K2 combination in Europe this season.
The men's racing was dominated by Wellington 21-year-old, Kurtis Imrie.
The younger brother of Olympic K4 paddler Kayla, Kurtis took home four gold medals, including the K1 200m and 500m titles.