Bruce Kendall

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Bruce Kendall
BRUCE -Coaching 2009.jpg
Medal record
Men's sailing
Representing  New Zealand
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Sailboard (Lechner)
Bronze medal – third place 1984 Los Angeles Sailboard

Anthony Bruce Kendall MBE (born 27 June 1964 in Papakura) is a two-time Olympic medallist in sailing for New Zealand.


Kendall's family were yachtsmen. He began sailing in the P-class and Starling's before progressing to crewing 470 and keelboats. When he was 14 he turned to windsurfing.[1]


Competing in boardsailing, Kendall's first medal was a bronze at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, USA. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea he improved to win the gold medal. Kendall also competed at the following Olympics in Barcelona, Spain,[2] just failing to win another medal due to faulty equipment. The fin on his Lechner board, which were supplied by the Olympic regatta organisers in those days, snapped in the third race.[1]

At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Kendall was a sailing coach for the New Zealand team. Kendall attempted to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the Tornado class with fellow former Olympic boardsailing representative Aaron McIntosh, but they were unsuccessful.

Kendall is the older brother of Barbara Kendall, who is also an Olympic gold medallist. They are the only brother and sister to have achieved this feat for New Zealand.

Kimberly Birkenfeld[edit]

In 2002 Kimberly Birkenfeld, on a windsurfer, collided with a Yachting New Zealand motorboat driven by Kendall about one nautical mile from the Olympic sailing venue in Athens, Greece. Birkenfeld hit the back left hand side of the motorboat, knocking her unconscious. Kendall then pulled Birkenfeld on board the motorboat and resuscitated her. In hospital, Birkenfeld remained unconscious for 30 days. She had suffered severe head and spinal injuries, and remained in hospital for two months. Since the accident Birkenfeld now has to rely on a wheelchair for travelling long distances, suffers shortness of breath and struggles to speak.[3]

In 2004 she filed a $15 million claim against Kendall and Yachting NZ. The High Court limited compensation payable to Birkenfeld to the extent of Yachting NZ's insurance cover of $500,000. A stay of proceedings was also issued by the High Court halting Birkenfeld's case. In 2008 Birkenfeld unsuccessfully challenged the High Court decision in the Court of Appeal. She then appealed her case to the Supreme Court. In August 2009 the Supreme Court rejected her appeal.[3]


In 2012 Kendall was the coach of the Hong Kong board sailing team.[4]

Awards and honours[edit]

In the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours, Kendall was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to boardsailing.[5] He was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.[1]


  1. ^ a b c New Zealand's Greatest Olympians – Number 18: Bruce Kendall, New Zealand Herald, Auckland, 19 July 2016 5:00am
  2. ^ Profile of Bruce Kendall.
  3. ^ a b Olympian's seven-year battle over, Steve Hopkins, Sunday Star Times, Wellington, 29 August 2009
  4. ^ Advice for pupils from Olympian, Rebecca Fox, Otago Daily Times, 19 May 2012
  5. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 51774, 16 June 1989. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
Preceded by
Paul MacDonald
Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee
Succeeded by
Anthony Mosse