Robbie Manson has all but secured the New Zealand single sculls seat for this year's Rowing World Cups and August's World Championships in Austria.
On Tuesday, the 29-year old headed off veteran rival and former Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale by a convincing margin of five seconds in a single sculls trial on Lake Karapiro.
Manson admitted to a mixture of happiness and relief at his latest win.
"It's nice to be able to move on and focus on the rest of the season now," Manson told Newshub.
"I had a good race and I feel like I'm rowing well at the moment and am on track to have a really good year."
Manson will need to await the official decision from Rowing NZ on Thursday, but the numbers suggest he's essentially a lock for selection.
"I feel like I've been rowing technically much better this summer, and for me that's the key. When I get the technique right it goes fast and it just feels easy."
In staark contrast, Mahe Drsydale refelected on what he described as a "frustrating" day on the water.
"It wasn't my best day today…probably a bit of a step sideways," Drysdale said. "Some moments during the race were great but I made some pretty fundamental mistakes early on."
In other action, Emma Twigg - who won the national title last month following a two year layoff - is assured of the women's seat after racing herself in this morning's trial.
"It's not as easy as having someone next to you pushing you the whole way…it's more of a mental battle," said Twigg.