By Davit Yeghiazaryan from Altai
International rafting forum titled “White Water of Siberia 2017” was held for the second time in Russia’s Altai region.
The forum is organized within New General project launched by Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency.
This year the event brought together 41 participants from 19 countries: Brazil, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Russia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Mongolia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan. Armenia was represented by NEWS.am Sport editor David Yeghiazaryan and sports journalist Artur Shahinyan.
It all started in the city of Tomsk, where the opening ceremony of the forum took place followed by a football match between the world team and the locals that ended in a draw.
The forum involved both professional rafters and newcomers interested in this sport. World champions as well as participants of world and European championships were among the guests.
After three days spent in Tomsk we arrived in Altai, where we visited a number of beautiful places along the route Lake Teletskoye -Chulyshman River.
If you want to see the incredibly beautiful nature, endless mountains and enjoy fresh air - you should definitely visit Altai.
Armenians are everywhere, but certainly not in Altai, one may think. You are mistaken. According to locals, many Armenians moved to Altai in the 80s and, mainly, are engaged in construction and hotel business.
Altai hosts two rafting teams - Altai raft and GAGU, which are one of the leaders of the Russian championship.
A member of the Georgian rafting team Merab Gukasiani noted that earlier this year they received an offer to visit Armenia and help with the development of rafting. On September 10, Gukasiani and other rafting experts arrived in Armenia. Merab noted that they are in Lori province where they are exploring rivers for rafting.
Altai is incredibly beautiful, but you cannot but notice the problem with roads. In the mountains of Altai, Russia-produced UAZ is the best car you can imagine.
Our final stop is the Ilgumen River, where the Russian Rafting Cup was also held. Here all the participants of the forum - beginners and professionals – passed around 40 kilometers in four hours.
The women’s team, headed by me, took the first place in Head to Head competition. Well, and finally, a selfie with the champions.
The forum participants “summed up” the eventful days by sitting at a table and tasting vodka and Armenian brandy. During the farewell party, they all promised that they would keep in touch after “the Altai adventures.”