The Boardsailing World is in Shock with Another World Title for the Remarkable Barbara Kendall
In her first regatta since the Sydney Olympics, 35-year-old Kendall comprehensively beat the world's best in Thailand to add another world title to her remarkable list of achievments.
Kendall won the Women's World Championships in 1998 and 1999 and is also a three times Olympic medallist with a gold in Barcelona in 1992, a silver in Atlanta in 1996 and a bronze in Sydney 2000.
The New Zealander, whose daughter Samantha was born 15 months ago, needed to sail only one of the final two races having won the second to last race to establish an unbeatable lead over French rival Faustine Merret.
Her brother and national coach Bruce Kendall, who was in Thailand, says it is a truly outstanding result.
Kendall now needs to finish in the top five at the Cadiz Combined World Championships in September 2003 to confirm her place in the New Zealand Olympic Team.
Auckland teenager Thomas Ashley finished 10th so New Zealand have qualifiers for both the men's and women's regattas at the Athens Olympics.
Yachting New Zealand's chief executive Simon Wickham is very pleased with the results.
"This is a fantastic step towards Athens 2004," said Wickham. "It is wonderful to see Barbara on top of the world again, proving the time off hasn't affected her performance.
"Thomas has had a fantastic year and to qualify the class at such a young age will be the icing on the cake for him."