Lake Macquarie sailor Will Ryan went into the Rio Olympics thinking that would be his one and only Games.
But three years after he and 2012 Olympic champion Mat Belcher took silver in the 470 class, the pair are among the first three Australians to secure spots at next year's Tokyo Games.
On Friday night, the combination were named male sailor of the year for the fourth time together at the Australian Sailing Awards, and on October 29 in Bermuda they are in the running for their first win at the world edition.
The plaudits come after a dominate season taking in their fourth European title, victory at the World Cup Series Final and a triple win in Enoshima, the 2020 Olympic venue. They claimed a fifth world title, the Tokyo test event, which sealed Olympic selection, then the World Cup Series leg.
The success is nothing new for Ryan, 30, but it was a long way from where he saw his future before Rio.
Having to work hard to keep his weight to a minimum, Ryan was contemplating a change past the 2016 Games, but the desire to go one better has fuelled his drive for Tokyo.
"Mat's a really competitive person, so even though he has that gold and silver, he's really still got that hunger to do well again," said Ryan while back in Newcastle last week between training blocks in Japan.
"That was what really encouraged me to do this program again. Coming into Rio, I thought that would be it. I'd finish after that one, but Mat and [coach] Victor [Kovalenko] are really determined.
"And for myself, the last Olympics we believed it would be really light winds and quite tricky. We had a few preconceived ideas going into it that weren't the reality of how it unfolded.
"It was a really good lesson, especially for me. I lost a lot of weight and was really skinny. I don't remember a lot of that Olympic week," he laughed.
"This time we've taken a bit more ownership and learnt to be a bit more all-rounded and open-minded, and roll with whatever comes.
"I think that's a big part of our sport. There's the conditions you might expect, what it's like all the other times you go there, then you turn up for the one week of the four years and it's totally different, and you've got to be prepared.
"That's what we've tried to change this year and for me that's where I see the draw factor. The chance to learn a lot about myself."
Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club was also recognised last Friday night, taking out the club of the year award. NCYC members Jan Howard and Mary Holley were the inaugural She Sails Award winners.
Meanwhile, Ryan's sister, Jaime, who also made her Olympic debut in Rio, is chasing Tokyo selection in the 49erFX class with partner Tess Lloyd. They are the leading Australian crew in the class and were sixth at the test event.
While they have world championship regattas in December and February to cement their Olympic berth, Belcher and Ryan will focus on training between now and their next world title event in March.
"It was really nice," Will said of early Olympic selection.
"It just kind of helps stabilise the prep, knowing a fair way out that you've got that spot and you can do your development that little bit differently, which is quite nice for us."