Mikhail Kolchevnikov | Russia

Mikhail Kolchevnikov and Project Raft

In 1978 Mikhail Kolchevnikov initiated the first whitewater festival in Siberia. Called the Chuya Rally, this festival later evolved into Project RAFT with the first Project RAFT event held on the Chuya River during the 1989 Chuya Rally. The World Rafting Championships has its origins in the international events of Project RAFT in which up to 50 teams competed in various disciplines including Slalom and Down River. This project was initiated by the Russian and American rafters to override the political animosity between the two nations and to let the sport of rafting join these like minded people. The events were held on the Chuya River, Siberia (1989), Nantahala River, USA (1990), Reventazón and Pacuare Rivers, Costa Rica (1991) and Coruh River, Turkey (1993). In 1994-1995, Project RAFT evolved into the Camel Whitewater Challenge, and ultimately the International Rafting Federation’s World Rafting Championships. Kolchevnikov founded a number of national rafting competitions in Russia and was also a pioneering river runner compiling an impressive list of First Descents on Class V and VI Rivers.

CATEGORY ACCOMPLISHMENTS / ACHIEVEMENTS / COMPETITIVE RESULTS
1974: First Descent, Bashkaus River, Devils Bridge
1976: First Descent, Chuya River, Majoy Rapids
1977: First Descent, Upper Onot River
1978: Created the Chuya Rally Whitewater Festival
1979: First Descent, Bogoyash River
1979: First Descent, Chulyshman River
1982: First Descent, Akalaha River
1982: First Descent, Argut River
1982: First Descent, Katun River
1984: First Descent, Orto River
1984: First Descent, Tentek River
1989: Organized Chuya Rally, 1989: considered a landmark in the history of International competitive rafting and a worldwide whitewater landmark event as the beginning of Project RAFT. The Russian Rafting Federation is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 Chuya Rally in May, 2009.
2000: Co-founded Russian Cup Rafting Competition held annually on the Katun River.
2003: Founded Majoy Rally, named after the continuous whitewater section of the Chuya River. This competition is held regularly and attracts only the most technically prepared whitewater enthusiasts.
2003: Founded Youth Rafting Competitions on the Kumir River.

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS / ACCOMPLISHMENTS / COMPETITIVE RESULTS
2001-2005: President, Altai Regional Rafting Federation

WHITEWATER ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS
Altai Regional Rafting Federation
Russian Rafting Federation

PUBLISHED ARTICLES, MANUSCRIPTS AND MEDIA
1984: “Altai Tourist Tracks,” by Mikhail Kolchevnikov
1985: “Crusing on the Timber Raft,” by Mikhail Kolchevnikov
1987: “Destinations: Alatai Region,” by Mikhail Kolchevnikov

HONORS AND AWARDS
1979: Master of Sport of USSR, Awarded by the USSR Sport Committee
2001: Honored Master of Sport, Awarded by the State Sport Committee of Russian Federation