Mihalis Koumbouzis - Founder
Michael (Mihalis) was born and bred in Athens and grew up in many places including Thessaloniki in North Greece and Famagusta in Cyprus, where his love for the sea was instilled in him from an early age. In these early years summertime in Famagusta centred around sea swimming often alongside his older brother who went on to swim for Cyprus. During one long summer a competition ensued amongst friends to see who could swim the most in the clear turquoise Mediterranean, young Mihalis was the victor, counting 231 times he actually dipped in the water.
Always combining the artistic with the athletic, Michael started playing 'professional' volleyball with the Greek team Panathinaikos during his high school years. This continued in the UK (where he was a Fine Art student) playing for Leeds Volleyball Club where he was involved both with national and international tournaments. He went on to being awarded the prestigious "player of the year" in Division 1 of the National Volleyball League in England.
During his compulsory military service in Greece he wasn't far from the sea, and served in the Navy also being part of the Naval Volleyball team and taking part in various tournaments with other international players. During his two years military service he learnt to read sea maps and gained a wider understanding of the Greek seas.
Michael has previously been Director of his own company and as a co-founder of The Big Blue and qualified captain of the boat, he brings extensive knowledge and experience of his homeland Greece and its islands, be it the eptanisa on the Ionian Sea or the Cyclades and Dodecanese on the Aegean. He plays a vital role in safely navigating the swim routes and his organisational abilities are second to none, so is his collection of speedos.
"Aristotle once wrote "In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous" and there really is a marvellous world beyond the shoreline and into the deep hues of the Ionian. Sailing and swimming in Greek waters feels exhilarating and really brings to life what an amazing place my homeland is."