A marathon effort

COOLUP marathon swimming legend Barbara Pellick conquered the Straits of Gibraltar last week.

She is the second West Australian to take on the channel between Europe and Africa and the first female.

The swim is one of the more challenging swims in the world circuit due to unpredictable currents.

Mrs Pellick�s time was six hours and one minute.

She was offered a spot to do a crossing of the Gibraltar Strait in March, a month after completing her 26th Rottnest solo crossing.

She joined friends from New Zealand and South Africa in the Straits of Gibraltar challenge.

The quest was a challenge as far as training went, according to her husband Pete.

�The local pool in Pinjarra basically opened its doors to all the squads it could after Mandurah closed for the upgrade, leaving on some days just two lanes for the public to train in,� he said.

�So to say trying to train for a marathon swim like this has been a challenge is an understatement.

�Training consisted of an extra Rottnest crossing late in March, trips to the Waroona Dam after work and laps when possible in the over-crowded local pool.

�Barb is 51 next month. Outside of swimming training she works as an enviromental technician, she is passionate about the environment and what we as humans are doing to it.

�She does do some open water swimming coaching and would like to expand her coaching some time in the future.

�She also has six mini ponies on our farm in Coolup plus her dog Jess, a labrador-cross huntaway whom she adores… these all give her relaxation time.�