Axopar Commercial Director


Few people embody the Axopar ‘spirit of adventure’ more than Commercial Director, Mikael Strand.

Like so many of Axopar’s senior staff, Mikael loves the outdoors life and has been boating on a regular basis since he was a young child. He got his first boat when he was just 7 years old and moved on to driving his parents 12m converted fishing vessel, when around 15 years old.

In reality, with its 16-ton displacement, his parents' boat was more houseboat than a fishing boat. A boat full of character, fun experiences, and happy memories, lending itself well to long, lazy holidays in Finland and Sweden, where it was perfectly normal for the whole family to spend around 3 weeks on board, at any given time.

But it was not until he was about 18 years old, that Mikael’s competitive nature got the better of him. He got a taste for competitive sailing and started as a deck hand on a 40ft cruiser-racer, learning his trade as bowman on the famous Gotland Runt race, in which he has competed no less than 5 times. This renowned Swedish offshore race regularly attracts 300+ entries in various different classes, the distance of the race varying from 180nm to 650nm, depending upon the type and age of yacht taking part.

Not content with purely offshore sailing, Mikael then took to high-profile match-racing in finely tuned, one-design racing yachts.

With crew numbers ranging anywhere from between 2 to 5 people per boat - and with each competitor sharing the same kind of dedication and will to win – Mikael regularly found himself being selected to compete in regattas all over Europe, with the sailing team being ranked number 1 in Finland for a good few years.

In-between stints as a competitive sailor, Mikael filled what little spare time he had by becoming an adventure guide. Responsible for leading different excursions on team-building events such as rock-climbing and orienteering, he also spent two years as a charter boat skipper, in charge of a Bavaria 50 sailing yacht.

Outdoor life has always been close to Mikael’s heart, he loves to hunt and to be out in nature with his family. In winter-time ice-skating on the frozen sea and lakes is his favourite hobby.

Having qualified professionally as a design engineer, Mikael’s career path lead him to various senior positions in the energy, oil and gas industries, often requiring extended periods working abroad. With employment spells living in France for 3 ½ years as Managing Director and regularly commuting to India from there.

Mikael is clearly a very well-travelled individual and his boating experience and love for adventure and outdoors makes him perfectly suited to his Axopar Commercial Director’s role in which he leads product development, sales, and marketing.