Olympic great Mahe Drysdale is happy enough despite finishing off the pace in his return to competitive rowing at an event in Italy.
New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale in action during the World Cup regatta.
Drysdale was 13th quickest in a large field contesting the Silver Skiffs regatta on the Po River near Turin.
Drysdale's time on the 11km course of 41 minutes 35 seconds was more than a minute behind decorated race winner Martin Sinkovic of Croatia, who narrowly headed off his older brother Valent.
"I didn't finish with the result I dreamt about but it's a good reflection on where I am and where I need to be," Drysdale said on Facebook.
"Two years ago I was 1min 04sec faster going into Olympic year which means I'm about five per cent away from where I need to be."
Drysdale is coming off a break of more than a year since he won his second successive Olympic single sculls gold medal at Rio.
He has committed to chasing a hat-trick at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, when he will be nearly 42.
Drysdale will soon join the national summer training programme and will contest a full year's racing in 2018.