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the Viking explorers rally lawsuit

Viking explorers in court!

Summary: A former partner, Oliver, is currently trying to steal the Viking Explorers transatlantic rally event with obvious dishonest methods; reminiscent of a hostile takeover, Oliver has performed several illegal actions to gain full control to the income from the event; an criminal action punishable by prison.
Mike, the founder of Viking Explorers, choose to go via the legal system, and it has worked very slowly. Up to now, he has got ascertained the copyrights to the original logotype, that when Oliver realized a lawsuit had been initiated, changed the image of the viking ship, but not the name (Viking Explorers) and is still driving business with the same name and organisation.

Being the founder of Viking Explorers, and by only using the legal path, has created problems that the system is very slow which is extremely frustrating. He writes this text to give full background to the theft, to ask anyone to not have anything to do with Viking Explorers until it is settled in court (or outside). If you want the full story, it is here below!

the background

The friendly viking explorers started 2016 in harmony

The event Viking Explorers was the creation of Swedish boating journalist Mike Westin, with the help of Niklas Krantz, another boating and TV journalist. All logos and marketing material plus info to interested crews were set up by MW and participants soon signed up for the first January 2018 start.

All participating crews was required to do something for the group, some did medical training, another arranged a beach party and a Spanish-German sailor, Oliver Solanas Heinrichs and his fiancée Carlota helped with translations into Spanish and shared a good knowledge of the port in Las Palmas. NK was continuing to sail around the world and MW offered OSH 50% partnership just before the start of the first rally.


14 October 2016: Two Swedish boating journalists started a new rally mainly targeting Scandinavian sailors. The information was spread through a big cruiser Facebook group. 

Winter 2016/17 Mike set up Facebook page and group to market the event and to bring news to the participants.

March 2017. Stockholm International Boatshow where several stage presentations and a first physical meeting was held with the first 5-6 signed up, crews together with other interested persons, that wanted to know more.

December 2017 The first group contained about 18 boats (22 when leaving Mindelo) of mainly Swedish/Scandinavian boats, with some international boats, so the language was decided to be English rather than Scandinavian.

6 January 2018 The first start of Viking Explorers from Las Palmas, via Mindelo (Cape Verde) to Barbados was commenced. All went well, participants very happy and a decision was to run again next winter.

January 2019 and 2020. The next two events of the transatlantic rally Viking Explorers were realised. The work was divided Mike took care of marketing and contact with participants, Oliver had contact with sponsors and marinas.
The idea was to expand the event, but the ideas of the two partners was different and the discussion sometimes animated. Mike suggested Oliver to buy him out, or the other way around, that Mike would buy Oliver out. Mike made a draft contract in writing and this was discussed during a few weeks via email.
Oliver accepted the suggested terms in an email on the 8th of May 2020 (then Covid restrictions was just being started).
Six months later turned out that Oliver never had any intention to honour the agreement he had approved to via email, as it in December turned out that he (with his fiancée as a ‘straw man’ in the process) had started a process to trademark register the logotype Mike had done long before (autumn 2016) they were partners. 

Oliver incorrectly thought that if they registered the logo, they could claim the event as his. It may that he had some dubious legal contact that seemingly (ill-) advised him of an illegal procedure of how to do a hostile take over – i.e. dishonestly stealing the event without trying to honour the buyout agreement (that he had done in writing).

The international copyright laws are clear that the person doing the art work


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how it started

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what now?

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