1995/1997 Barbara Pellick Solo/Team Swim
I love the process of training and goal setting and decided that I wanted to swim the English Channel. (I had watched and admired Des Renford during his 19 English Channel crossings, I think deep down I have always been a marathon swimmer).
I trained for and completed my English Channel crossing in pretty average conditions on the 4th July 1995. My time was 12 hours 22 mins and 30 seconds. Water temperature was 14C down to 13C on the French coast.
Training consisted of: squad training in a 25m indoor pool, heated to 30C in Bunbury; then finding the coldest water I could on the weekend to complete a long swim. Luckily Bunbury is near Collie and the Minninup Pool. I would swim there most weekends with only the ducks for company. No one knew much about hypothermia back then so I never realised the fact I couldn’t talk after my swims was potentially a serious problem, especially as I was always by myself....
Channel conditions were good at the start, but rapidly deteriorated. Both wind and currents were stronger than predicted. Remember this was pre-internet days so navigating and obtaining accurate weather information was harder than today.
Barb's English Channel Crossing Log
Barb approaching Cap Le Blanc
In 1997 I was approached to swim in a team with five other mad West Aussies. The plan was to complete a triple English Channel crossing. We were hoping to beat the record held by another Aussie team.
We completed the triple crossing in 32 hours 47 minutes. My team mates for this swim were: Shelley Taylor-Smith, Nancy Warnock, Gary Bradley, Peter Blackmore and Mark Dawson.
Unfortunately, were beaten by the conditions. But hey that’s the channel!