Three decades of Rotto: Mandurah swimmer to cross Rottnest Channel for 30th time

A passion for the water and the sense of achievement you get when crossing the finish line have propelled Mandurah swimmer Barbara Pellick across the Rottnest Channel for three decades now.

The star swimmer will celebrate a stunning milestone when she notches her 30th Rottnest Channel Swim later this month, making the 19.7-kilometre dash alongside seven of her Rottoswmr Swim Squad teammates.

It’s an achievement the life-long lover of the ocean will look back on with pride, after competing in her first installment of the event as a fresh-faced 28-year-old.

But despite the experience she’s garnered since, Pellick insists the swim hasn’t gotten any easier over time.

“I think it’s actually getting harder because I’m battling age now I suppose,” the Mandurah Masters Swimming Club star said.

“It does depend on the conditions you get but swimming that far is never really an easy thing to do.”

But it’s that challenge of the oftentimes grueling swim that keeps Pellick kicking.

“The feeling you get when you finish – knowing you’ve just capped off months of training and knowing you’ve succeeded – it’s hard to top,” she said.

“Pushing yourself through that challenge will always be rewarding, whether it’s the first or the 30th time.”

The local legend will be swimming as a tandem this year, alongside teammate Sue Johnstone who will make her sixth crossing.

Fellow Mandurah swimmers Glenda Hurtado, Jodi O'Connor, Wendy Kennedy, Erica Thomas, Steve Ferguson, Mhairi Murdoch and Guy Boyce will also compete for the team.

The swim will be held on Saturday, February 23, with competitors kicking off from Cottesloe Beach surrounded by a support network of paddlers, boat skippers and crew.

For more information on the event visit