Experts predicted that the clash between the Universities of Washington and Princeton in the Ladies' Challenge Plate for intermediate eights would be the match up of the day at Henley Royal Regatta.
It did not disappoint. Princeton led early but Washington battled back to take the verdict.
Remarkably the strokeman of the Princeton eight was racing for the second time that day in the same event. He had earlier raced and lost with the Princeton "B" crew but was called up only hours later into his Universities top boat because of injury to their strokeman.
19 year-old strokeman Julian Goldman therefore went into one of the biggest races of his life having already rowed Henley's demanding course. Afterwards he said: "I'm not quite as tired as I thought I'd be now. But I know I'm going to feel it later."
Mahe Drysdale and Mirka Knapkova, the Olympic Champions in the open single sculls for men and women respectively, both won their opening races. They are both seeking fifth titles apiece here.
As Knapkova crossed the finish line, the British women's eight were at the start of their heat which they won comfortably to move closer to a potential final against the World silver medallists from Canada on Sunday.
The European champion men's pair of James Foad and Matt Langridge were comfortable winners today to move into a showdown tomorrow with their GB team-mates Calum McBrierty and Mat Tarrant in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls' Challenge.
The British double of John Collins and Jonny Walton were also winners in the morning session.
It was a busy morning for the Henley Royal Regatta historians as five records tumbled during a blistering start to day three. Scottish and Dutch crews were in celebratory mood with significant wins and records between them.
Easily the most eye-catching record was the time of 6:03 set by Dutch eight ASR Nereus in the Temple Challenge Cup - a full nine seconds faster than the previous record set jointly by Harvard University and University of Berkeley, California in 2011.
"That's amazing, that's almost on a par with Bob Beamon breaking the long jump record all those years ago," said Martin Cross, rowing commentator and 1984 Olympic gold medallist.
Opponents Oxford Brookes University A were also well inside the previous record, only losing a cracking race by a canvas, but that will be of little consolation to the ousted defending champions.
ASR Nereus' stunning performance came less than an hour after their club colleague in the coxed four had smashed the Prince Albert Challenge Cup record by two seconds.
"Did we beat the record? No way - that's amazing!" beamed Jules Bronk when told that his crew had clocked a full record of 6:55, beating the time set by Harvard University in 2011 and also equaling their Fawley record of 3:19.
However, their record only stood for two-and-a-half hours before Edinburgh University reduced it to 6:54 in their win over Goldie Boat Club A.
"We are really proud of that," said stroke Rufus Scholefield. "I hope we can keep it for a while but there are races left in the competition this afternoon, so we'll be keeping an eye on them. Tail-wind and the stream are the biggest factors but staying fast and true is the main thing, that's all you can do."
If that record was short-lived, Sir William Borlase's Grammar School's reign as joint-fastest ever in the Fawley Challenge Cup lasted just 75 minutes.
They equaled Marlow RC A's best-ever Fawley Challenge Cup time of 6:39, set in 2013, as they beat Pangbourne College and also beat their own Fawley record of 3:11.
Stroke Chris Lawrie, a GB Youth Olympic Games rower, said: "There is a nice tail-wind going up the course and the water is nice and warm, so conditions are perfect. There are not many boats out in the morning either, so you can go really, really fast. We had a really good start and the other crew pushed us quite well, so we were working off them. It was a really good row."
However, just as the record tables were being updated, Glasgow Academy raced 6:38 as they beat Sydney RC of Australia.. "We are ecstatic to say the least," said Glasgow stroke Gavin Hosburgh.
"We knew it was going to be a fast time but we never expected to set a record, we've never done that before. It's quite something - especially to know we can go even faster in the semis and, hopefully, the final."
At midday the Regatta rowers, spectators and officials stood for the one-minute nationwide silence called by the Prime Minister to remember those who lost their lives in the Tunisian beach attack.
The GB Rowing Team women's eight sat on the start line with their heads bowed and the rowers in the Princess Royal Challenge Cup for women's single scullers crossed the finish line perfectly for the minute's silence so that they could also pay their respects.
In sharp contrast an RAF Tornado GR4 roared down the course at 12.45 precisely to thrill the crowds just before the luncheon interval.