Frequently Asked Questions
What Do I Wear On The Day?
For “Full Immersion” ticket holders, we would recommend some tough sports gear, perhaps rugby shorts, non cotton t-shirt and your oldest pair of undies! (as you won’t be wearing them again). For footwear, you want your gnarliest pair of trainers. You do not want to be swimming in Marine Lake in your prized footwear!
We do always enjoy seeing the odd tutu running by, so that’s worth considering!
For families we recommend you wrap up warm and cosy. It might be chilly and the pier is very exposed so hat, scarf, gloves and your new Christmas thermals are highly recommended. Please bring doggy ‘poo’ bags to clean up after your mut! For humans we have toilets provided!
What Should I Bring With Me?
Please bring photographic ID for those on the “Full Immersion, family tickets and adult” tickets so we know who is entitled to join us around the course. Only the person who booked the family ticket needs to bring their own ID.
Please do bring a change of clothes and make sure you have some shoes to walk away in, too if you are partaking in the “Full Immersion”. There aren’t any changing facilities provided so it may be best to bring a towel for your dignity we would hate to scare the Southport Old Ladies!
Can I Book On The Day?
Absolutely! You and your friends and family can buy any ticket on the day however will be cash only so make sure to bring your wallet/purse with you! You will be required to bring photographic ID and sign a waiver if participating in the “Full Immersion”.
Prices will be higher on the day with the “Full Immersion” priced £30, Family tickets £20, Individuals £15 and additional children for those with big families priced at £8.
What Should I Do When I Arrive?
Ensure that you allow plenty of time to arrive, park and register before the start of the procession. We would recommend that you arrive by 0930-1000hrs. Parking facilities can be found in Ocean Plaza as well as a number of on-road pay and display parking around Southport Promenade.
When you arrive on the concourse between The Ramada Plaza Hotel and Hungry Horse Restaurant, make sure you sign in at the registration point and that you have photographic ID to prove your booking. For ‘Full Immersion’ participants, you will be given you race number to pin on your sports gear. All other participants will be provided with a coloured wrist band to entitle you for a medal. You can drop bags, coats and other items off in the baggage drop in the reception area. Please note we do not accept responsibility for your belongings or valuables. It is suggested you keep them at home.
Make sure you are ready to take part in the Procession of Oars that leaves from the Ramada/Hungry Horse Restaurant at 1100. All participants are expected to follow the raised oars.
Are There Any Welfare Facilities?
Toilet facilities will be available onsite. Or those swimming in Marine Lake are permitted to have a little secret ‘wee’ as it will only warm it up. Space blankets will be given to participants who complete the “Full Immersion” once they ring the old fisherman’s bell at the finish line. The Ramada Plaza and Marine Café will open for participants and spectators to enjoy a warm drink or meal afterwards.
What Is The Procession of Oars?
The Fernley will commence with ceremony and ritual called the ‘Procession of Oars’, which is a remembrance walk which includes the ‘Offering of Water’ and the 1886 Obelisk Memorial on Southport Promenade. The names of the Southport and St Anne’s lost will be read out followed by a poem taken from one of the Memorials.
Why Do I Need To Bring A Flower?
On the 1886 memorial Obelisk it states ‘please place a flower to remember the lost’. We think that is a lovely gesture but feel that every participant should place a flower as they run, walk or cycle around the course. So Participants and spectators are invited to bring a flower to remember those who lost their lives. Participants will place their flower as they run, jog or walk around the Obelisk. This is a very important aspect of the event and demonstrates the respect and dignity to those who lost their lives.
How Long Is The Course?
Following the procession, a green flair will set participants off around the course which is approx two miles long and takes in King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and for the brave, a symbolic ‘plunge’ into Marine Lake water for a ‘bracing’ 100m swim or wade to the finish where you must ring the old fisherman’s bell.
Where Is The Best Place To Spectate?
Spectators are welcomed to join in the fun with best vantage points along Southport Pier as well as Marine Bridge or at the Marine Lake Café.
Is This A Race And Are There Prizes?
The Fernley isn’t an official race however each person who participates will receive an official event medal with a commemorative lanyard. However the first man and woman to complete the Fernley Immersion will be invited to drink our local brew 'Sandgrounder' Beer from an old fisherman’s boot! Hmm lovely. It is hoped that the fisherman’s foot will not be in the boot at the time!
Everyone may walk The Fernley event route however those who do not pay to participate and not wearing a special wrist band will not receive any event ‘bling’ i.e. The Fernley medal.
Is The Event For Families?
The Fernley welcomes everyone from families, teams, individuals and pets. Discounted tickets are offered to families wanting to participate but won’t be able to take part in the Fernley Plunge into Marine Lake (we do not expect you throw your children into the lake unless you wish too!).
Dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, and even local celebrity ‘Neil Newton’ and all other animals are all welcome however remains the sole responsibility of participants/spectators. Animals will not however be allowed to enter Marine Lake. This does not apply to the fish!
What Am I Paying For and How Am I Supporting The Named Charity?
We are delighted to let you know that for every booking a guaranteed 50p donation will be made to the Southport Lifeboat Trust. It is hoped that this event will significantly raise the profile of both this local charity and teams and individuals will obtain sponsorship by taking part.
Please note that STORM is a local event company and considerable expense has been incurred to create this fantastic new event for Southport. The cost of a ticket goes to cover the cost of the event including stewarding, water safety, first aid, loos and licences amongst others. These things are sadly not free.
Can I Transfer My Ticket?
Regrettably due to the administration nightmare it would create on the day you are unable to transfer your Immersion/adult or family ticket. Sorry to be meany peenies but there no exceptions to this rule.
What Is The Youngest Age To Take Part In The “Full Immersion”?
For those wanting to brave the “Full Immersion” of Marine Lake, you have to be 16 years or older however for those aged 16 and 17 years of age a consent form, which can be obtained from The Fernley before the event, must be signed by a parent or guardian who must accompany their offspring on the day along with photographic ID. Failure to produce this consent form printed and signed, with their guardian will sadly result in you not being able to partake in The Fernley. Mummy and Daddy must say that it is ok for their little cherub to freeze their bits off on New Years Day in Marine Lake. We don’t wish to be ‘fun sponges’ but we cannot accept any exceptions.
Is The Course Safe?
The Fernley is designed and delivered by STORM, a Health and Safety Company, so every care has been taken to ensure the course is as safe as it can be. STORM has considerable experience in large event management safety and have looked after thousands of people at events like XtremeSTORM , music festivals and even the Southport Flower Show. Experienced first aid teams will be onsite throughout the whole event. Marine Lake water will be tested in the lead up to the event to confirm that it isn’t dangerous with nasty bugs or old bikes!
Will My Picture Be Taken?
The Fernley is hoping to attract UK media and many hundreds of spectators. Pictures will be taken whilst you participate/spectate at the event and may be put on local television, newspapers, social media or placed on marketing material for future events. By taking part you agree to your picture being taken or being filmed. This includes children and animals. If you do not agree to this then it is recommended that you bring in the New Year by staying at home, close all your curtains and hide under your duvet!
What If I Have A Health Concern?
Please consult your doctor if you have any health concerns related to this event. It is assumed that all those on full immersion are adequate swimmers however before you freak out the Marine Lake crossing point is fine as you can wade yourself across if you choose to. The crossing site is an approx. depth of 3-4 feet and is very soft/muddy under foot.