Axopar founding partner, Jan-Erik Viitala, honoured with the Judges’ Special Award at MBY Motorboat Awards

Press releases

Düsseldorf, 25 January 2024 - Axopar Boats Founding Partner, Jan-Erik Viitala, receives ‘Judges’ Special Award’ at the Motor Boats Awards – the ‘Oscar’ of the boating industry, which recognises achievements of an individual or organisation who has made an exceptional contribution to the industry.    

With the team at Axopar Boats, Jan-Erik Viitala created a new generation of boats, the ‘Adventure’ boating genre – which has in just 10 years become an industry of its own – and is devotedly pushing for bringing more people out on the water.    

Summarising, Jan-Erik’s remarkable contribution, Motor Boat & Yachting editor, Hugo Andreae said: “Axopar has gone on to be a true boating phenomenon and whilst this man would be the first to acknowledge his team around him, it is his vision and unstoppable drive that has fuelled its stratospheric growth”. 

Jan-Erik is one of the youngest ever recipients to have received the accolade, joining other high-ranking individuals and pioneers of the industry, such as David King of Princess Yachts, the late Robert Braithewaite of Sunseeker and Paulo Vitelli of Azimut. Organisations such as the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) are among previous winners of this significant award. 

Summary of the UK magazine Motor Boat & Yachting jury:

“Serial entrepreneur Jan-Erik Viitala has fitted more into his 16-year boat industry career than most people fit into a lifetime. The first model, a 28ft outboard-powered walkaround adventure boat, was launched on an unsuspecting world at the Helsinki Boat Show in February 2014. With its aggressively modern looks, sea-kindly hull, punchy outboard power, walkaround decks and highly competitive pricing, it’s fair to say it proved quite popular! Over 200 examples were sold in the first 18 months – an unheard of number for a brand new start-up – but a mere drop in the ocean compared to the current total of almost 3,000 units. Now approaching its 10th anniversary, Axopar has gone on to become a true boating phenomenon. Much copied but rarely matched, Axopar is the defining brand for a whole new generation of boats and boaters. And while Jan-Erik would be the first to acknowledge the input of the team around him, it is his vision and relentless drive to keep improving its craft that has fuelled its stratospheric growth.” 

The full statement can be found here 

More about The Motorboat Awards:   
Published monthly by Future Publishing, Motorboat & Yachting magazine and website is one the UK’s premium consumer boating media and the magazine has been published continuously for the past 120 years.  
The Motor Boat Awards are now in their 19th year and moved from London to be held at the five star Kö59 Hotel in Köenigsallee, Düsseldorf, to coincide with the Boot boat show. The Motorboat Awards, organised by UK magazine, Motorboat & Yachting, are recognizing and applauding new boats and new designs for their unique abilities during rigorous sea-trials published within the magazine over the past 12 editions.    

About Axopar:  
Axopar, the adventure company, is one of the fastest-growing boat brands in the world. The success derives from the "one boat, one world" concept. It stands for boats that are multi-functional and accessible for the many, anywhere around the world.  
As a forerunner committed to continuous innovation, the company listens to its global community of Axoparians and shares the same respect and passion for nature. Axopar's mission is to open new perspectives by bringing people out on the water and creating boats that make waves in the boating industry.  

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