Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox came to Europe with few expectations but will return home buoyed about what they can achieve in the next 18 months after finishing third at the 470 European championships in San Remo today.
That result came on the back of their gold medal at last month's World Cup Series regatta in Genoa, their first win at World Cup level and first in Europe.
What was particularly encouraging is the fact they achieved two good results at regattas of contrasting conditions - Genoa was a light-air event and San Remo the other extreme.
They enjoyed another good breeze in today's medal race, finishing second in the top 10, double points race to climb from sixth overall to third. They didn't officially receive a medal, with those reserved for Europeans, but it mattered little.
Australia's Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan dominated the event, and won today's medal race, with Sweden's Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom second.
"Third place is awesome," Snow-Hansen said. "We didn't really expect that. We were just focusing on our own race and the results just panned out, so we're very happy with that."
Willcox added: "It's been an awesome European block for us. We kind of rolled out of our summer and hadn't touched base with the European fleet for a while so it was cool to slot in and see where we were at and it's been a pleasant surprise.
"It was awesome to get our first World Cup win in Genoa and then, coming here, we had the opposite, often missing days of racing due to too much wind. To get on the podium at two events which were so different to each other was super-encouraging for us and the team. When we go home from the European block we can be pretty happy with where we are at."
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke can also be pretty satisfied with their start to the 49er European championships in Weymouth, the same venue where they won silver at the 2012 London Olympics.
The pair notched a perfect score of three wins today in fresh winds and big swells to take the overall lead after two days. They have now won five of their seven races, with their worst result a third, to hold a narrow one-point advantage over Spain's Diego Botin le Chever and Iago Lopez Marra with Australian brothers Will and Sam Phillips a further two points behind in third.
"It's been a good couple of days for us to start off the 49er European champs," Tuke said. "It has been nice to be back racing in Weymouth, a place we have spent a lot of time in over the years and obviously have some special memories from London 2012.
"We have been sailing in steady onshore winds so far so the races have been very close and boat speed has been key. It was pretty cool to get straight bullets today but the old cliche of 'it's a long regatta' is very much true here with 21 races scheduled."
Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn are still very much in the hunt in fourth, despite a capsize in their second race of the day, and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech also enjoyed a good day with three top-three results, including a race win, to sit fifth on a tight 49erFx leaderboard.
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are also in the mix in the Nacra 17 and are ninth, just 13 points off the lead. There's still one more day of qualifying before the real racing starts when the top boats are all put into gold fleet.
The Finn European championships in Athens finally got under way after the first day was lost to a lack of wind. Andy Maloney finished in the top five in all three races, including a race win, and is second overall with Josh Junior eighth.
Results and standings after the final day of the 470 European championships in San Remo:
Men's 470 (70 boats)
1st: Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 1 1 1 2 1 (7) 2 - 8 points
2nd: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) 3 2 5 1 (35) 2 10 - 23 pts
3rd: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 6 8 8 4 (12) 1 4 - 31 pts
Women's 470 (40 boats)
1st: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) 5 2 4 (7) 6 1 2 - 20 pts
2nd: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) 1 (8) 1 6 3 2 10 - 23 pts
3rd: Afrodite Zegers / Lobke Berkhout (NED) 2 7 7 3 5.4 RDG (8) 8 - 32.4 pts
28th: Susannah Pyatt / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 19 (31) 30 28 22 16 - 114 pts
Results and standings after day 2 of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European championships in Weymouth:
49er (98 boats)
1st: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) (3) 1 2 1 1 1 1 - 7 pts
2nd: Diego Botin le Chever / Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) 2 (5) 1 1 2 1 1 - 8 pts
3rd: Will Phillips / Sam Phillips (AUS) 1 2 1 (15) 2 2 2 - 10 pts
4th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 4 1 1 1 3 (11) 2 - 12 pts
24th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 (13) 7 8 11 7 10 - 53 pts
29th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 11 (17) 5 11 16 5 10 - 58 pts
49erFX (57) boats
1st: Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GBR) 4 1 3 1 1 2 - 8 pts
2nd: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 2 2 2 1 1 (3) - 8 pts
3rd: Vilma Bobeck / Malin Tengstrom (SWE) 1 1 3 (7) 4 1 - 10 pts
5th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) (8) 3 5 3 2 1 - 14 pts
Nacra 17 (55 boats)
1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 1 1 1 1 (7) - 5 pts
2nd: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 6 4 2 1 1 2 - 10 pts
3rd: Vittorio Bissaro / Maelle Frascari Diotallevi (ITA) 2 3 1 3 2 (4) - 11 pts
9th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 4 4 3 4 3 (11) - 18 pts
Results and standings after day 2 of the Finn European championships in Athens:
Finn (84 boats)
1st: Giles Scott (GBR) 1 3 1 - 5 pts
2nd: Andy Maloney (NZL) 5 1 3 - 9 pts
3rd: Zsombor Berecz (HUN) 9 2 4 - 15 pts
8th: Josh Junior (NZL) 11 8 22 - 41 pts
- Pic: A second in the medal race lifted Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox to third overall at the 470 European championships. Photo: Gerolamo Acquarone