Lisa Carrington's bid for a fourth gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics - and sixth of her career - is on track, reaching the semi-finals of the K4 500 at Sea Forest Waterway.
As part of the K4 500 with Caitlin Regal, Alicia Hoskin and Teneale Hatton, Carrington led the Kiwi crew to second place in their heat, needing a top two finish to advance to Saturday's semi-final.
The Kiwis finished with a time of 1m 33.959s in their heat, 0.624s behind the winners, Hungary.
Crucially though, the result gives the Kiwi foursome the rest of Friday off, allowing them to recover ahead of Saturday's semi-final.
"This morning it was a bit daunting walking up but I know I've got so much faith in these girls so I can draw on their strength," Carrington told Sky Sport.
"I trust them so much and the team has been so amazing so it's just so easy to get out there.
"I'm so stoked with what we did today.
"We haven't had an international race before so we were going a little bit into the unknown out there. But it was so good to get that start done and just have a good rhythm through the race.
"I'm proud of these girls."
Friday's heat was Carrington's 10th race of this Olympics, contesting a heat, semi-final and medal race in each of her three events before the K4 500.
The crews from Belarus, Canada, France and Ukraine will now race in a quarter-final later
In the second heat, Poland progressed with a time of 1m 33.468s - the second fastest behind Hungary.
Germany were the second team to progress from heat two, with a time of 1m 34.681s, giving the Kiwi crew the third fastest time heading into Saturday.
Carrington has already won the K1 200, K1 500 and K2 500 events, seeing her become New Zealand's most successful Olympian of all time in terms of gold medals (five) and medals overall (six).
The K4 500 semi-finals will begin from 1:07pm Saturday, with the final to be held at 3:19pm - should the Kiwi crew qualify.