The Crossing of the Whalers will implement measures to reduce the environmental impact

Image of the test output in 2021.


The Provincial Council sets itself the objective of reducing the impact that sports events may have on the environment and gives the event that is held this Sunday as an example

Ana Vega

At the end of the year, more than 300 outdoor sports events are held in Gipuzkoa that leave a greater or lesser impact on the environment, which is why the Provincial Council has proposed to help reduce this footprint.

To study different ways of acting, the Diputación will use the example of the Crossing of the Whalers that is celebrated this Sunday between Pasaia and Zurriola beach. The open water event, which will bring together just over 300 swimmers, celebrates its second edition this year with the intention of consolidating itself among the crossings that are held every summer on the Guipuzcoan coast.

To collaborate in reducing the impact of the event on the environment, the Provincial Council will use a system for collecting microplastics by means of buoys that will be located along the route. In total there will be four buoys that will be installed for this purpose.

In addition, the crossing will have a Manual of Good Practices to minimize the plastic used in the test. According to the Environment Department headed by José Ignacio Asensio, these types of actions are the ones that will be used as an example to study and extrapolate to other events.

The Provincial Council will place four buoys on the route with a micro-plastic collection system

The members of the organization of the Travesía de los Balleneros want to go one step further and, in collaboration with the Diputación, have organized a conference on sport and sustainability for the Saturday before the event. The appointment, which will take place at the Aquarium from 12 noon, is part of the Bihotz Urdina project that seeks to raise awareness and publicize the marine environment and its inhabitants. Hosted by the surfer and youtuber Borja Agote, the event will include, among others, Unai Navarro from Mares Circulares, the swimmer Irati Mendia and the race director, Josetxo Berasategi.

Doubling the security

Looking ahead to the test on Sunday, the organization reminds that it is a route consisting of 5,300 meters in which participants can choose to go with or without a wetsuit, but those who decide to swim only with a swimsuit must carry their own buoy. Registration is still open but ends this Friday, July 1.

To guarantee the safety of the participants, the number of canoeists has doubled and there will be thirty with the collaboration of the paddlers from the Náutico de San Sebastián and Pasajes Kayak.

The start of the test will be at 9 in the morning from the mouth of the port of Pasaia and the arrival of the first swimmers is expected around 10 in the morning at Zurriola. Like last year, the organization has an alternative route in case the sea conditions prevent the original test from being carried out, but the weather forecasts are good for this Sunday and it is expected that the crossing can be carried out normally.



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