Tasmanian rower Kate Hornsey says she was confident she could overpower her rivals in the women's pair at the London Olympics.
The 30-year-old teamed with Sarah Tait to finish second behind Great Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning who won the host nation's first gold medal.
Hornsey and Tait surged past New Zealand to claim the silver medal.
Hornsey says she did not panic with 500 metres to race.
"Coming through in fourth through the 1500 also had a bit of urgency there too that we just had to go," she said.
"We were on at least 40 strokes a minutes, pretty unheard of for women's pairs, I'd say, so we just went for it."
Hornsey's mother Anne was in the stands watching the event and says the crowd was deafening.
"It was really a gutsy row from our girls," she said.
"I mean they were looking like perhaps finishing fourth at one stage at 300 metres to go and they just dug so deep and came away with a silver medal.
"It was just so exciting and we are just so thrilled, so proud."
She told ABC Local Radio the usually composed Kate was anything but, after her medal win.
"She was elated, I mean, you couldn't wipe the smile off her face."
"She was a very happy person, She is a very controlled person but she was just so elated and they were just delighted with the silver medal."
Tasmania's Premier Lara Giddings has congratulated the New Norfolk rower, saying the result is a tribute to her skill and determination.
Australia's crew finished fourth in the women's quad sculls and sixth in the final of the men's eight.