Siberian river adventure: documentary on show

The Yenisey team celebrates the completion of their journey.

The Yenisey team celebrates the completion of their journey.
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Ben Kozel takes a turn at the oars.

Ben Kozel takes a turn at the oars.
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Monday, 26 November 2001

A new documentary detailing the latest adventures of Adelaide University student Ben Kozel will go on show to the public this Wednesday night (7pm, November 28) at the Scott Theatre.

Ben and three team-mates, including fellow Aussie Tim Cope and Canadians Colin Angus and Remy Quinter, recently became the first people in the world to row the entire length of the river Yenisey, the world's fifth-longest river. The Yenisey starts in Mongolia and cuts through Siberian Russia before reaching the freezing Arctic Ocean.

The team rowed 5500kms from May until the end of September to complete their trek and enter the record books.

Ben and Colin had previously rowed the entire length of the Amazon river last year. The Yenisey was their second major challenge, and one for which they were much better prepared - with video cameras.

But the documentary on show this Wednesday almost never happened. At one point during their Yenisey trek, much of the footage the team had shot was feared lost when a raft capsized in floodwaters:

"The haphazard current dragged the raft into the forest and snagged it on low hanging branches. The raft flipped upside down and gear tumbled out, either to sink instantly or be swept downstream," Ben says.

"We retrieved most of the large dry bags which contained most of our gear, but the one with all our camera film and video footage escaped. Colin hastily jumped into one of the kayaks and gave pursuit. We didn't see him again for 12 days."

As luck would have it, Colin had managed to find the lost dry bag containing the team's film and video tapes.

"Given the sheer immensity of the river, the number of potential places for the bag to have snagged, and the probability of the bag ripping open and sinking, it was a sheer miracle," Ben says.

WHERE: Scott Theatre, Adelaide University (off Kintore Ave)
WHEN: 7pm Wednesday, November 28
COST: $12 adults, $8 students/concession

Ben, Tim and Colin will present the documentary, which will be followed by slides and questions from the public.


Contact Details

Ben Kozel
Business: +61 8 8264 3845
Mobile: 0408 304 821