1 Eye On 2 World Records | The Baikal Project

1 Eye On 2 World Records | The Baikal Project

1 Eye On The World HQMany months ago, we caught up with a man in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, Ireland. That man was a one-eyed guy, Gary Ó Keefe. An adventurer by heart, on a new crazy mission. What could possibly go wrong?!

Upon entering the 1 Eye On The World workshop, I spotted some bikes, a chassis, and some custom/vintage looking vehicle. That set the tone.

Gary and a team of welders & mechanics were tinkering away at what looked like a darker, more aggressive Mystery Machine, the van from Scooby Doo! 

Guys n' gals from all over the world, pulling together to turn that mystery into a world record mission. 2 actually! What were they giving birth to? 

CJ and Ang from Canada, a load of guys from all over the world and some local talents watching as the back doors and panels of this mystery van were being sawn off! There to capture the moment was Claudio Von Planta (yes, the Documentary film maker from the famous Long Way Round (2004) documentary with Ewan McGregor & Charlie Boorman). That moment was a pivotal ground work point as the metal broke away from the bulk of the van shell without any damage or cracks. The van needed to be extended to fit the longer chassis (pics below). Most of The Baikal Team were there for a planning/briefing on the mission that lay ahead, The Baikal Project. The custom van would be an UAZ shell, on a Toyota engine and chassis.

Take a look at some photos below of the prep work on the custom UAZ that would eventually set off on that 750km journey, across ice 1 mile deep! Oh and in temperatures upto -60C.

The Baikal Project - PREP - The UAZ 1

The before...

The Baikal Project - PREP - The UAZ 2_EngineChassis

Now to get that shell onto this engine & chassis...

The Baikal Project - PREP - CJ the Canadian Welder

CJ, the Canadian Welder taking a break...what's he drinking?

The Baikal Project - PREP - The UAZ 2

Before she lifts off...

The Baikal Project - PREP - The UAZ 3.jpg

Beam me up!

The Baikal Project - PREP - The UAZ 4.jpg

Up she goes...

The Baikal Project - PREP - The UAZ 5

Wow that's dark...that's what it's like looking into the 1 mile deep Lake Baikal!

Gary Ó Keefe and Claudio Von Planta - HQ

Gary and Claudio...what could possibly go wrong?

Some of The Baikal Project Sponsors - At 1 Eye On The World HQ

Some sponsors on the wall....oh and I wonder what Ang and Karolis are talking about?! Funniest caption wins...

Claudio Von Planta and Gary Ó Keefe 2

Claudio captures it all as Gary pushes buttons and gives orders

The UAZ - Righthand side PRE-chop

Kevin Emans and Declan McEvoy check the final touches on the back doors before it's dismembered from the shell.

The UAZ - PRE back panels chop

Looks of excitement, tension and worry just before the back panels come off...

The UAZ - Backdoor Panels CHOP

Ahhh...a sigh of relief and cheers all around as the the team successfully remove the back doors and panels to extend out the UAZ.

The UAZ - NO back panels

Sizing up the new sheet metal that will extend the UAZ van to cater for the chassis and load to be carried.

The Bootcast with Gary Ó Keefe

After a few weeks of meeting Gary, we did an episode of The Bootcast to get the low down on The Baikal Project and an insight into the mind of an adventurer.

Catch it below:


1 Eye on the World HQ - Record vice

The Mission - 2 World Records

1) Longest drive on ice in 7 days

Due to a motorcycle accident in the past, Gary was bound to the pleasure of driving the UAZ on this epic journey across the mammoth block of ice, Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. 

Distance: 750km.

Lake depth: 1 mile deep!

Temperature: -60C

2) Longest ride on ice

The five riders of The Baikal Team took to the ice on customised motorbikes, along with a backup team for supplies, health & safety and of course media coverage. 

The Baikal Team 

The Adventurer - Gary Ó Keefe

The Brains - Declan McEvoy

Project Manager - John Quinn

Project Manager Russia (Extreme Logistics Expert) - Maxim Anokhin

The Film Maker - Claudio Von Planta

The Producer - Darragh M. Kettle

Film Maker - Alexander Hick

Art Director - Simas Šuminskas

Aspiring Film Maker - Naoise Kettle

The Five Riders

      1. KAROLIS MIELIAUSKAS - The Survivalist
      2. FRITZ KREIS - The Beauty
      3. MARK KEMP - The Balance
      4. KEVIN EMANS - The Brawn
      5. MARIANO CARLONI - The Expert


Just last week (22nd Feb 2020, at 16:35), the guys finished that mission they set out on months ago! They crossed the line to be added to history books, in achieving two Guinness World Records.

The Baikal Team - On Ice!

More info on The Baikal Project and the Team

The Baikal Project website

On Instagram

On Facebook

Guinness Book of World Records


Well done to Gary and the team! An amazing story and achievement for everyone involved!



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