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"We take the black out of the ocean’s seabed, so as not to disturb our blue!"

XTERRA Greece - TRIMORE Sport Events undertakes another Social Responsibility initiative, raising awareness - urging action next to it, the community of Open Water swimmers and every person interested in the environment and a more sustainable future.

The initiative is called "Clean Ocean - Contribute to a more sustainable future!" and will attempt to organize the identification/registration of the location and subsequently the gradual lifting, removal and management of the tyre vehicles from the seabed of our country's seas.

The term Ocean was chosen rather than Sea, since the earth can be considered one large Ocean which covers 73% of its surface and only 27% is the continents. In this sense, the effort is aimed at restoring this single aquatic ecosystem. Read the answer to the question here: Why take the tyres off the seabed? Are they embedded and not polluting?

It is worth noting that although vehicle tyres have been shown to pollute the environment and fauna in the medium and long term during their gradual decomposition process, the Clean Ocean initiative will not undertake to lift from the seabed a tyre cluster that has been there for years, having created an ecosystem, so as not to cause a disturbance by its action. The tyres that are lifted are disorderly and isolated on the seabed and usually constitute an additional visual nuisance.  

With optimism and a desire to excite, XTERRA Greece - TRIMORE Sport Events undertakes the ambitious initiative to design and execute in two phases, a beautiful, dynamic and at the same time useful environmental action of social responsibility, inviting Open Water swimmers to take action, to "free" their blue that they love so much. The main objective of the action is to contribute in this way to the protection of the environment and to raise environmental awareness in the world.

"Hellas (Greece) is not land. It is a sea that embraces the land!"

Fully embracing this adulteration, XTERRA Greece and listening to all those voices of protest of its own people... Open Water swimmers (mostly sea swimmers in our country) who demand dynamic taking action and not just protest, takes action. With the support and assistance of the only body approved by the State, responsible for the ecological management of tyres after the end of their life cycle... ECOELASTIKA, ensured that the action is not incomplete but fully completed. The tyres that will be recovered in a safe and secure way will be sent to recovery units through ECOELASTIKA, which ensures compliance with the relevant legislation by applying rules that promote environmental protection and the circular economy.

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The first action of Clean Ocean is the retrieval of tyres alongside the island: Hydrousa (Katramenisi), opposite Voula - Athens. The circumnavigation of the island is part of the 5 and 10 km swimming route of the XTERRA Open Water Swimming Challenge, which took place with the focus on A' Voula Plaza - ATHINES By The Sea on 16 October 2022.

With the assurance offered by the cooperation with ECOELASTIKA, it was possible to start planning for the integrated action and the effort to secure the necessary synergies and approvals so that the idea can be implemented. In order to verify and validate the planning of the broader vision, which has already progressed at many levels for the overall national project, it was decided to launch a pilot action starting from Voula.

In cooperation with the Mayor of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni Municipality, Grigoris Konstantellos, the first major action was organized to provide the validated knowledge and impetus for the big idea.

On October 8 & 9 2022, XTERRA Greece and a team of certified divers of the Elite Special Missions Team of Egaleo, with four of its boats and one of XTERRA Greece, a floating platform provided by TEKAL, the builder of the new Vouliagmeni Marina, special equipment for lifting heavy objects from the seabed, 10 certified divers in cooperation with people on board and in the rigging, an operations centre in the first plaza of Voula - ATHINES By The Sea, an ambulance vehicle, a doctor, paramedics, lifeguards, with the valuable practical and financial support of: FORD MOTOR HELLAS, ELEKTOR, MINETTA, gave the first form to the vision! The action had secured the approval of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, the Athens Land Registry and the competent Port Authority of Saronic and the experience gained is going to be an exemplary/model process in all its subsequent stages.

The total number of tyres that were lifted during these two days was 26 and were transported by sea -on the floating platform- to the beach, cleaned and washed from sand and objects or living organisms that had adhered during the time they remained on the seabed and then transported by the Municipality's truck to the Municipality's warehouses from where they were transported, through a partner of a special and authorized ECOELASTIKA transporter, they were guided to follow the procedure as required by law. It is worth noting that during the underwater work of the action, other tyres were found in deeper places (about 25 metres), which are estimated to exceed 30 more and a new action is to be organized and carried out in Hydrousa island.

XTERRA Greece, in cooperation with its Honorary Ambassador and special Ultra athlete Spyros Chrysikopoulos, held on Saturday, October 8th, at the XTERRA O.W.S. Challenge Race terrain, an Open Water swimmers inspiration and motivation training. The swimmers, starting from the organized beach ATHINES By The Sea, where XTERRA Greece's Clean Ocean information center was also located, swam with the accompaniment of kayakers and XTERRA Greece's boat to the island of Hydrousa. There, they met the support team of the underwater activity of the recovery action and had the opportunity to watch it for a while, in its operation. After drinking water and resting for a while, they swam back to the beach... The names of the 50 swimmers who took part were imprinted as the founders of the Clean Ocean effort and will be placed among those who later in the overall 2023 action will claim a high-value prize along with other swimmers who will actively participate in the effort during the period until then.

The whole project was successfully and enthusiastically captured in video and image from the sky, surface and underwater, in order to become the project's promotional material and a precursor of the even bigger one that will follow, in an effort to attract the swimming community and sponsors to support the vision! 

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On Sunday, October 16 at noon, at the award ceremony of the 9th XTERRA O.W.S. Challenge 2022, the video wall of the event was screened to swimmers, visitors and media and then the stakeholders (XTERRA Greece, ECOELASTIKA, Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni, Sponsors) was presented both the action and the broader project that will be launched.

Having completed the first phase, XTERRA Greece has moved on to the next, making the start of the now ongoing action.

It successfully organized the second operation to recover the remaining tyres (identified during the first operation) from the island of Hydrousa in Voula - Athens.

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Following this operation, Clean Ocean moves on to its next day. It was developed a software application (in the Cloud) in which Open Water swimmers, divers, bathers, underwater fishermen and all interested parties can pin the position of the tyre(s) they detect in all the seas of Greece on the electronic map of the application in real time.


 Process of placing tyres on the map: 

1. Click on the link above

2. On the map you will see click on the top left "View larger map"

3. You find on the map the spot at sea where you found the tyre(s)

4. You mark it by pressing the left button at the location (from a computer) or by tapping once on the screen (from a mobile phone)

5. Find and copy the geographical position of the location, by right-clicking on the marker created and copying the position shown on the screen (from a computer) or by pressing and holding on the marker (from a mobile phone)

6. You return to the first screen of the application

7. You record all the data requested and in the last field you paste the geographical location you have copied

8. You give your consent for your data to be used for the purposes of the ongoing action

9. Submit your registration.


XTERRA Greece's task now is to monitor the development of tyre locations on the map throughout the country and to launch - in cooperation with ECOELASTIKA, the local Municipalities, its sponsors, authorities/agencies and supporters of this dynamic environmental action, the recovery and management of these tyres.


Press Release Announcement of "Clean Ocean' First Action (in greek)

Completion Press Release of the First Action in Ydrousa (in greek)

Press Release Announcement of "Clean Ocean" Second Action (in greek)

Completion Press Release of the Second Action in Ydrousa (in greek)

Press Release Clean Ocean opening e-app (in greek)

Photo content of the First Action in Ydrousa (in greek)

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