Barb Pellick – Queen of the Rottnest Channel Swim

Susan Johnston (left) and Barbara Pellick.
Susan Johnston (left) and Barbara Pellick.

COOLUP resident Barbara Pellick made history on Saturday when she completed her 30th Rottnest Channel Swim.

Taking off in the second wave of swimmers leaving Cottesloe Beach from 5.45am, Pellick took the swim at leisurely pace yet still clocked an impressive time of seven hours, 33 minutes and 15 seconds.

An elated Pellick crossed the line one second behind her good friend Susan Johnston.

“I’ve always enjoyed the event so much – I’m rapt – I’m over the moon,” she said.

“They do get harder – I was no spring chicken when I started 30 years ago.

“It is a milestone – it was a good swim.

“There was no help or hindrance today – I think it was a fairly honest swim.”

Pellick hinted it may be her last solo – for now.

“Not promising a 40th swim,” she said.

“I’ll see about swimming next year a bit later.”

Her former paddler of 15 years Clive Choate was equally elated to see Pellick complete her 30th crossing.

“She’s a fantastic swimmer – nothing phases her,” he said.

“She’s really lapped it up and enjoyed it – she will be very excited today.”

First out of the field to cross the finish line was Victorian Sam Sheppard on his debut swim with a time of four hours, 11 minutes and 22 seconds.

Sam Sheppard.

“The last couple of kilometres was pretty tough but I’m pretty happy with that (swim),” he said.

“My plan was to get to 10 kilometres and pick it up from there – that was the difference.”

First female to cross the line was Jamie Bowler with a time of four hours, 44 minutes and 41 seconds.

Jamie Bowler.

With a smile that lit up the crowd, she agreed things got tougher after the 10 kilometre mark.

“I found it harder after the 10 kilometre mark – everyone was finding it hard,” she said.

“I’m so happy I made it.”

It was an extra special swim for Bunbury’s Kyle Lee who celebrated his birthday on the day.

He crossed the finish line third with a time of four hours, 25 minutes and 11 seconds.