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Roly Stokes Four Strokes Of Luck Interview

Roly Stokes Four Strokes Of Luck Interview

Cast: Roly Stokes, Andrew Young, Adam Broadbent, Claudia Orellana
Director: Roly Stokes
Genre: Adventure

Synopsis: In a race against time, three Australians and one Bolivian must invent a boat powered by motorbikes to cross a dangerous passage of sea. Guerillas, pirates, politics and the wrath of 'mother nature' conspire to hold the team back from sailing from Colombia to Panama. Will the Caribbean claim another wreck or will their ingenuity pay off?

Release Date: March 13th, 2011

Four Strokes Of Luck an adventure film about the perilous journey of four adventurers on a motorbike-powered boat between Panama and Colombia - is premiering at the prestigious Byron Bay Film Festival in March.

The documentary showcases the inspiring story of three Australians: Roly Stokes, Sydney, Andrew Young, Mackay/Brisbane, Adam Broadbent, Tamworth/Newcastle and Bolivian, Claudia Orellana - who invent a motorbike powered boat to sail 200km through some of the most dangerous parts of Colombia and Panama.

Inspired to ride his motorbike the entire length of the Americas, from Patagonia to Alaska, Adam said: "Between Colombia and Panama was the only section of my trip without any roads. Powering a boat meant I could complete my entire journey using only my bike, and also be the second person to ever do this!"

Based in Turbo, a town the Australian government lists 'as dangerous as Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya', the team race against time to wrangle their motorbikes into the boat before the Caribbean hurricane season erupts.

Award winning ASE (Australian screen editor) Harriet Clutterbuck, and first time producer and director Roly Stokes capture all the adventure as the group is pushed to breaking point - faced with being marooned, imprisoned, blackmailed and more.

Roly explained: "There were a couple of situations where things went really bad. We are quite honestly, lucky to have our lives."

A once in a lifetime voyage, Four Strokes of Luck is The Long Way Around without the support team, Top Gear where the stakes are real and the New Inventors where the invention spells life or death.

Interview with Roly Stokes

Question: What came first the boat powered motorbike or the camera?

Roly Stokes: We had the motorbikes travelling around South America and then we got to the point where there was no roads, so we decided to make a boat and seeing as we were making a boat we thought we'd do it properly and buy a camera to film it. The camera was very much an after thought.

Question: What originally inspired you to begin this journey and film Four Strokes of Luck?

Roly Stokes: I finished university in 2008 and then went travelling, for a year, to avoid going to work in the real world and this was apart of that journey. I was away for 18 months.

Question: You've said there were a few situations that went bad, can you talk about one of those?

Roly Stokes: Yes. On the first day of working, Andrew Young (Youngy), one of the guys got a little bit excited with the big angle grinder and it bounced out of the metal and straight into his leg. The angle grinder gave him a big deep cut but he was really lucky because he didn't get his femoral artery, if he had he would have bleed to death in two minutes, end of story and that was before we started the trip.

In the trip we were held hostage, for three days, by the Police because we didn't have our VISAs stamped by the country. We broke down in high seas and were drifting towards rocks and reefs; that was pretty much the scariest moment of my life, actually. We were also stuck on tropical islands, sometimes we couldn't get off them, which was unpleasant.

Question: What was the best part of the trip?

Roly Stokes: Nobody has asked that! Just the fact that the boat actually worked and that we made it back, which is a small perk.

Question: Before starting the journey, did you have a tight plan?

Roly Stokes: We did, we thought it would take us two or three weeks to build the boat and it took us nine. Then, for the trip we thought it would take us eight days and we actually had to have it done in eight days because Andrew Young (Youngy) had to get to Panama so he could fly back to Colombia - but, as it turned out, it took us it took us a month. Youngy left us and came back to join us. Our eight days went up to over thirty.

Overall, the total time was a little over three months.

Question: Can you talk about the experience of working with Harriet Clutterbuck?

Roly Stokes: Harriet Clutterbuck worked for much less than she deserved, only paid to survive; she was a family friend actually, of my parents and that's how I got in touch with her. Harriet Clutterbuck taught me so much about film making, she gave me some good contacts, it was excellent working with her.

Question: When you returned home from travelling, what was the first thing you did?

Roly Stokes: Straight after the trip I went to the States for two months and I bought a limousine to drive from New York to California, as you do. When I got home, I don't remember what I did! I did bring home all my washing for Mum and caught up with mates.

Question: What did you learn about yourself whilst filming Four Strokes Of Luck?

Roly Stokes: It was a very, very tense, stressful period and I learnt how I could deal with stress, not just on a short term scale but on a long term project.

Question: Would you do it all again?

Roly Stokes: Yes! I actually want to do another one. I want to build a solar-powered car and drive from Sydney to South Africa through Asia and the middle-east. I would love to make another film. I'd love to do it this year, if possible.

Question: As we speak your en route to Byron Film Festival, where else can Australians see Four Strokes Of Luck?

Roly Stokes: At this stage we haven't actually confirmed anything, I am working on a Sydney premiere and in talks with Roadshow to have it disturbed, widely. You can keep an eye on the website, and DVDs can be bought from the website.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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