Kiwi sailor Sam Meech notched three second placings to be well positioned after a challenging end to qualifying at the Laser world championships in Croatia.
Olympic bronze medallist Meech sits just two points behind Cypriot leader Pavlos Kontides although his overall position has dropped from second to fourth on a congested leaderboard.
Meech said 20 to 25 knot winds and heavy seas in Split made it a challenging but enjoyable day.
"Everyone is looking like they can hardly walk now," he said.
"It was super hard out there today. It was really, really hard on the body but I'm pretty stoked to come away with three seconds."
Meech and compatriot Tom Saunders will now contest the gold fleet phase of the regatta, featuring the leading 50 boats.
Saunders is seventh overall after banking a second, fourth and third in his three races.
The Kiwi pair are pleased to be relatively unscathed, with gear damaged common among their rivals.
Kontides failed to finish the last race when his sail ripped.