Meet the Race Directors

Staffan Björklund 

Staffan was born in Stockholm and grew up in Järpen just outside Åre. He is an entrepreneur and has almost finished his mountain guide exam.  But perhaps he is most known for taking the stray dog Arthur to the finish line of the AR World Championship 2014 in Ecuador and subsequently to Sweden. Staffan is active in the Adventure Racing scene with European Gold and Bronze medals, World Championship Gold and Silver in Swimrun and several podiums in the Adventure Racing World Series. In addition, he runs his own company focusing on group and company activities, lectures and consultants for other races such as the Race Director for ÖtillÖ, and conducts development programs for other companies. He also has a solid interest in history and is a partner for a newly started mountain guiding firm in the United States.

Christian Ekström

Christian was born and raised on Åland and can trace a direct line to the Vikings of Åland. He is best described as a multicolor entrepreneur and came to be famous for the finding of the underwater Champagne wreck in the Åland Archipelago. In his youth he drove a bus, but then through his passion for SCUBA diving created diving school on Åland.  Today he is the owner and manager of Pub Stallhagen together with his partner Johanna. Additionally he is a the co-owner of a number of companies including Åland Event, Stallhagens Bryggeri, Stalldalens pension and has assignments on various company boards.

Per Hem Mattsson – Managing partner

Per was born and raised in Stockholm. He has more than 25 years of experience of entrepreneurship in many different areas.  He loves all kind of sports and new creative business opportunities, his family and to take on big challenges as crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing boat.  Per’s broad experience from different sport events and branding project- both to famous players and events -makes him the perfect speaking partner for all sponsors. Some of his clients are: Swedish Open, Stockholm Open and US Open (tennis),  Volvo Ocean Race (sailing), Nordea Masters(golf), F1 racing, STCC racing, Rally X racing, DN Galan and Globen Games (Athletics). Per also have an extensive care for the environment and has worked with start-ups within these fields with development of new products for these companies.


Jens Sönnergaard – Security manager 

Jens was born and raised in the Stockholm archipelago. He has more than 25 years of experience of safety at sea. He is actively interested in sea rescue and likes to take on big challenges such as the time he worked in the Aegean Sea supporting refugees crossing over the waters there. Jens’s broad experience from the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS), the Volvo Ocean Race, the Stockholm Archipelago Raid and the “Gula Båtarna”, make him the perfect sea rescue officer for the race. His training has given him experience within On Scene Coordination and Advanced Sea Rescue procedures and protocols. Jens has also worked as a Captain in the Mediterranean waters on sailing yachts of over 100 feet. Jens holds a Yacht Master Offshore, a Class 8 commercial license and his High Speed certificates and he has been a skipper in the SSRS for 10 years.


Jouni Junkkaala – assistant course designer Finland

Jouni is a finn who has a passion for designing orienteering and adventure racing courses. In 2014, he planned and organized the 24 hour AR race Endurace Quest and in 2016 he was the main course setter of Finnish Champinships in orienteering. This year he has organized Nuuksio Winter Rogaining and Kopparnäs Coast Trail near his hometown Helsinki.