Jonathan Cunningham braved the elements on Sunday by undertaking the Open water swim across the Marine Lake.

Jonathan said: “Wow it was cold…Even took time to tidy up marine lake and removed trollies and barriers thrown in the water…Walk & watch…or run and plunge.. Spread the word as this epic!”


STORM Launch UKs most Unusual Event for 2016 New Year! – The Fernley

The wait is over! – after months of design, planning and teaser campaigns STORM is proud to announce the exciting launch of Southport newest events ‘The Fernley’

The Fernley is the newest Southport event which will take place on New Year’s Day 2016. This New Year event ‘oddity’ aims to commemorate one of the largest lifeboat disasters ever; the tragic loss of 27 lifeboat men, 14 lost from Southport and 13 from St Annes, Lytham who launched to save the stricken ‘Mexico’ boat on 9th December 1886. The Fernley also aims to recognise one of Southport’s greatest benefactors, John Fernley, who built schools, colleges, observatories and gifted the Southport lifeboats. The Eliza Fernley was the doomed Southport lifeboat that was sadly lost. This event is for individuals, teams and families. An event shrouded in ritual and honour will launch your New Year in momentous style. Run, walk and even swim!

The brainchild of STORM MD Jonathan Cunningham MBE who got the idea several years ago when he participated in the Mappleton Bridge jump in Derbyshire on New Year’s Day. ‘There is something very different about New Year’s Day. Everyone is generally off work, have friends over to stay and possibly nursing a hangover. Everyone likes a brisk walk at the New Year or to watch the spectacle of people entering into icy water! explained Jonathan. This event is very different and involves ritual and ceremony including ‘The Procession of Oars, Offering of Water and a small act of remembrance at the 1886 Obelisk’.

A single green flare will start The Fernley. A phased start launches individuals, teams, families and dogs into a bracing 2 mile walk, jog or run around the newly restored King’s Garden’s, then along the full length of Southport Pier for gulps of sea air ‘The Shout’ before turning at ‘Mexico Turn’ for the return journey ‘Fisherman’s Rest’. All participants conclude under the finish arches with a ring of the ‘The Fisherman’s Bell’ behind The Ramada Hotel.


For those more adventurous, the ‘Fernley Plunge’ awaits with an invigorating immersion and wade across the icy waters of Marine Lake watched in ore by hundreds of spectators. For them the ringing of the old fisherman’s bell may signal the finish but the start of an amazing new year. Those who complete the Full Fernley Immersion join the Fernley Roll of Honour. The event is also set to raise funds for 2 fabulous local charities The Lifeboat Trust and the Community Link Foundation.


This is set to be possibly one of the most imaginative and spectacular UK events for the New Year. Run or walk or just spectate, just be part of this amazing Sandgrounder event. This is Southport’s own event! Early Bird Offer until 16th Nov 2015


Its time to celebrate the brave…its’ time for The Fernley!


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