Tom Slingsby banished the nightmare of his Olympic experience four years ago to secure Australia's second gold medal of London 2012.
The 27-year-old went into the 2008 Games as overriding favourite to top the podium but did not even make the medal race and finished in 22nd place.
Slingsby put that behind him here to top the Laser podium by seeing off the threat of Pavlos Kontides, whose silver is Cyprus' first medal in Olympic history.
South Korea's Yang Hak-Seon took gold in the men's vault final at the North Greenwich arena.
Yang was the last man to compete and scored a huge average of 16.533 from his two vaults to be crowned Olympic champion ahead Russia's Denis Ablyazin who claimed silver with Ukraine's Igor Radivilov winning bronze.
Olympic debutant Annalise Murphy narrowly missed out on Ireland's first medal of London 2012. The 22-year-old enjoyed an impressive week and came into the race as one of four sailors challenging for a podium spot in the Laser Radial class, but Murphy could only finish fifth in the medal race to leave her fourth overall as China's Xu Lijia took gold.
Brazil's Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti won gold in a dramatic men's rings final in the gymnastics at the North Greenwich Arena.
Defending champion Chen Yibing of China looked set to retain his Olympic title and led the way through the competition after he competed first and scored an impressive 15.800. Zanetti was the last man to compete and powered to gold with a score of 15.900, with Italy's Matteo Morandi finishing in bronze medal position.
Niccolo Campriani of Italy won gold in the men's 50m rifle three positions, while South Korea's Yang Hak-Seon won gold in the men's vault.
Giovanni Cernogoraz of Croatia won gold in the men's trap shooting.