Barbara achieved international recognition by winning New Zealand's only gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the first woman in New Zealand to do so for 40 years. She has had an amazing sporting career spanning nearly 25 years and having two young children still didn't stop her achieving international success.
She is now, 5 Olympics later, an Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist, quadruple world champion, NZ sports woman of the year 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, has been inducted in International Sailings and New Zealand's sports Hall of fame, has a MBE for services to windsurfing and received Sport New Zealand Leadership award in 2014.
She was racing small boats at the age of 12 and attained success in a variety of classes at a national level. At 16 she tried windsurfing as a serious sport and entered her first world competition in 1984. Her last competition was at her 5th Olympics in Beijing, 2008.
Her drive and commitment to success are endless. She has numerous world titles to her credit, many being achieved after overcoming many obstacles or adversity. She claimed her first world title in 1987 when she won the World Production Class Championships in Sweden.
Her achievements and dedication to her sport have been widely recognized, firstly being awarded a MBE for services to windsurfing, Sir Bernard Ferguson Trophy Yachts person of the Year Award in 1992, 1999 and New Zealand's Sports Woman of the Year in 1996, 1998 and 1999 and 2002. Inducted into International Sailings Hall of Fame in 2007. New Zealand Sports hall of fame in 2014 and won Sport New Zealand Leadership award for 2014 in recognition of the her volunteer work giving back to sport.
Currently Barbara is a member of the International Olympic Committee volunteering her time sitting on 12 different executive boards, commissions or working groups Internationally and in New Zealand representing Oceania, New Zealand, Woman and Athletes around these tables.
Barbara runs her own consulting company "champions IQ" to inspire, motivate and teach businesses, individuals and teams in raising the bar for success, excellence and leadership.
She has also become a well as a director in a natural cosmetics company "Feel at home".
Barbara acts as an ambassador for Health 2000, the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Project litefoot. She is a Patron of the Upside downs Education Trust.
1992 Barcelona – Gold Medal (Lechner Women)
1996 Atlanta – Silver Medal (Mistral Women)
2000 Sydney – Bronze Medal (Mistral Women)
2004 Athens – Fifth (Mistral Women)
2008 Beijing – Sixth (RS:X Women)
World Championship Medals
1985 Woman’s World Championship, La Rochelle – Bronze Medal
1987 Production World Champion, Sweden – Gold Medal
1990 World Professional Windsurfing World tour – Silver Medal
1997 Mistral World Championship, Australia – Bronze Medal
1998 Mistral World Championship, France – Gold Medal
1999 Mistral World Championship, Noumea – Gold Medal
2002 Mistral World Championship, Thailand – Gold Medal
2003 Mistral World Championship, Spain – Silver Medal
2004 Mistral World Championship, Turkey – Silver Medal
2007 RS:X World Championship, Portugal – Silver Medal
2008 RS:X World Championship, New Zealand – Silver Medal
Other Major Achievements
1992 New Zealand Sailor of the Year
1992 Awarded MBE
1996 New Zealand Sports Woman of the Year
1998 New Zealand Sailor of the Year
1998 New Zealand Sports Woman of the Year
1999 New Zealand Sports Woman of the Year
2002 New Zealand Sports Woman of the Year
2007 Inducted into ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame .
2010 YNZ life member.
2012 Olympic Coach for the Australian Windsurfing team– Athlete placed 11th
2014 Inducted into New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
2014 Sport New Zealand Leadership award