Born and raised in Auckland, former boardsailer Barbara has won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, a silver medal in 1996, and a bronze medal in 2000. She was the first, and as of 2008, the only woman from New Zealand to compete at five Olympic Games.
Barbara was the Oceania athletes' representative on the International Olympic Committee from 2005 to 2008 and was on the New Zealand Olympic Committee Athletes Commission until 2008. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee and the IOC Athletes' Commission and has sat on the Women and Sport Commission and Sport and the Environment Commission.
Kendall's brother Bruce is also an Olympic Gold medallist and they are the first brother and sister to achieved this feat for New Zealand.
Barbara officially retired from competitive board sailing in May 2010. Barbara and her husband Shayne have two daughters.