The Great Cetacean Route Crossing: 35 km solo swim against microplastics

The Great Cetacean Route Crossing: 35 km solo swim against microplastics
Punta Pratesi

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A new sporting feat with a strong environmental message for swimmer and instructor Giorgio Riva, who last year completed the 110-kilometer swim circumnavigation around the island of Elba: for 2023, the Brianza-based athlete is warming up to complete the "Great Cetacean Crossing," 35 km of solo strokes separating the island of Capraia from Elba.

Scheduled for Saturday, May 27, this "eco-swim" will be carried out to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection, particularly the preservation of cetaceans and the entire marine ecosystem. A valuable but extremely fragile ecosystem that is constantly endangered by pervasive pollution from microplastics and plastic waste in general. A goal that is close to the heart of the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea, immersed in the nuances of this sea that bathes its more than 200 beaches.Starting from the island of Capraia, Giorgio Riva will approach Elba kilometer by kilometer, swimming along the same path that cetaceans follow in their migrations every year. Elba's waters are indeed rich in cetaceans, both resident and migratory colonies, including dolphins and minke whales, and it is possible to admire them even very close to the coast, such as in the western area of St. Andrew.

The start of this new sporting and environmental venture is scheduled at dawn from Punta della Bellavista Capraia, and the arrival will be about 12 hours later in Elba at Punta Patresi.

"After the success of the Elba circumnavigation and the great visibility it brought, we decided to double it," comments Giorgio Riva. "This year we are still bringing our message of protection and enhancement of the sea and its inhabitants: first and foremost the magnificent cetaceans that travel this route, but also all of us who depend closely on this ecosystem.

The initiative will take place in collaboration and with the support, once again, of Giuseppe Debernardi of Sea Kayak Italy who will follow with his kayak. And also accompanying him will be Micaela Bacchetta (founder and researcher of the Center) and Roberto Rutigliano (Ketos commander and researcher) with a catamaran from the Cetacean Research Center of Elba Island, an organization that studies and protects the cetaceans of the Tuscan Archipelago. Also among the supporters is Matteo Galeazzi of @refill-now, whose environmental project Refill-Now, created to reduce the use of plastics, wants to lend even more support to Riva's initiative.

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