Fergal Somerville, Ice Swimming Hall Of Fame Honor Contributor – Administrator

Photo courtesy of Gordon Adair

Ned Denison says of Fergal Somerville, “Fergal has been the driving force behind the leading and largest mass Ice Mile event in the world. From 2013 to 2018, 47 internationally certified Ice Miles have been completed in the annual Eastern Bay Invitational International Ice Mile in Ireland. Many of the swimmers are well-known internationally in the sport of open water swimming including 18 English Channel swimmers, 11 North Channel swimmers, 4 Triple Crowners, and 2 Oceans Seven swimmers. Their involvement has helped elevate the discipline of ice swimming within the sport of open water swimming.

Fergal has been at the forefront of introducing a new dimension to the sport – multiple swimmers in the water together. The positives are a more enjoyable experience for all plus a much shorter event – which keep safety crews fully attentive over a 45-minute swim period as opposed to a full day event. Additional safety measures have been developed and implemented to enhance swimmer safety
.”

For his efforts, vision and attention to detail, Somerville was announced as an Honor Contributor – Administrator by the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2020, selected by representatives from the world of winter swimming, ice swimming, and open water swimming including Paolo Chiarino of Italy, Ned Denison of Ireland, Elaine K Howley of the USA, Pádraig Mallon of Ireland, Leszek Naziemiec of Poland, Kieron Palframan of South Africa, Shelley Taylor-Smith of Australia, and Jonty Warneken of the UK.

International Ice Swimming Association founder Ram Barkai confirmed his achievements, “Fergal helped sponsor and participate in 2015 in a scientific study of performance of ice swimmers in the cold environment. This involved comprehensive Dual-energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) for musculoskeletal assessment of each volunteer including overall medical diagnosis, physical examination, ECG and ingestion of pill-sized thermometers for assessment of effect in pool and ice swimming. The results were published in a professional journal (see International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance here) that have contributed to developing safety measures for swimmer preparation and recovery from the ice mile.

The Eastern Bay Invitational International Ice Mile Swim is sanctioned and insured by Swim Ireland and has received considerable and favourable media coverage.


Certified Ice Miles:
· February 24th 2013 in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland in 3.6°C water, 1.00 mile in 28:50
· February 22nd 2014 in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland in 3.3°C water, 1.00 mile in 28:49
· February 14th 2015 in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland in 3.8°C water, 1.00 mile in 31:42

Certified Ice Kilometer Swims:
· January 30th 2016 in International Ice Swimming Association, Wild Water, Armagh in 16:07:00 in 4.5°C water
· January 27th 2018 in World Cup, Ireland Ice Swimming, Wild Water Armagh in 16:54:43 in 4.4°C water

Marathon Swims:
· September 24th 2011 crossed the English Channel in 12 hours 40 minutes
· June 16th 2014 crossed the North CHannel on his 2nd attempt in 12 hours 21 minutes
· July 8th 2016 crossed 25.66 km from Howth to Skerries in 6 hours 12 minutes

Somerville joins the following members of the Class of 2020 in the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame:

* Jackie Cobell of Great Britain, Honor Swimmer
* Kate Steels of Great Britain, Honor Swimmer
* Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, Honor Swimmer
* Christof Wandratsch of Germany, Honor Swimmer
* Antarctic Circle Challenge of South Africa, Honor Event
* Murmansk Winter Swimming of Russia, Honor Event

The Class of 2020 joins the following swimmers and contributors from the inaugural Class of 2019:

* Honor Swimmer and Honor Contributor – Administrator Ram Barkai of South Africa
* Honor Swimmer Aleksander Brylin of Russia
* Honor Swimmer Henri Kaarma of Estonia
* Honor Swimmer Jaimie Monahan of the USA
* Honor Swimmer Lewis Pugh of Great Britain
* Honor Contributor – Administrator Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen of Finland
* Honor Event Bering Strait Relay with individuals from 23 countries
* Honor Contributor – Media Steven Muñatones of the USA

For more information, photos and detailed biographies for the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame honorees and contributors of the Class of 2019 and the Class of 2020, visit www.IceSwimmingHallOfFame.com.

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