The inspiration for the project came in 2017, amid a number of Marine events such as harbor cleaning in Nazaré, Portugal and Yamaha Experience test rides where frequently the event activities were hindered by rubbish in the water. Following a boost from Yamaha’s communication campaign on the issues presented by ocean plastic pollution, Clean the Sea was launched in February 2019 at the Lisbon National Boat Show, with special participation from record-breaking American surfer Garrett McNamara. In 2011 Garrett beat the record for the highest wave ever surfed, 78ft, in Nazaré, before beating his own record in 2013 after surfing an enormous 100ft at the same location. As a Yamaha ambassador he has contributed to many of its Marine activities and environmental initiatives.
In its first year Clean the Sea organised a major cleaning operation with Garrett and less fortunate teenagers from Cascais, involving a Yamaha XTO-powered boat journey along the Tagus river up to central Lisbon. Several partners were involved in the large-scale operation that was just the beginning of Clean the Sea, including Cascais City Hall and Earth Water, an eco-friendly bottled water and part of the World Food Program. Yamaha also made use of recycled bags for collecting the rubbish which can be reused each time, and now offers the bags as a gift to customers buying a Yamaha Marine product, contributing to greater awareness.