Clevedon, UK, March 8, 2019 – Darley Dale-based kayaking clothing and equipment pioneer Peak UK has been officially presented with the trophy and prize for the inaugural Roland Hero Awards, from digital printing solutions brand Roland DG EMEA.
Jerry Davies, Managing Director of Roland DG UK Ltd, and Gillian Montanaro, Head of Marketing at Roland DG EMEA, visited Peak UK’s fantastic facilities in the Peak District to meet owner Pete Astles and his staff, and to celebrate the company’s win.
Former canoe slalom athlete Pete Astles started Peak UK in 1990 while working in a kayak shop. Finding its clothing products lacking in terms of fit, colour and technical performance and, with time on his hands during a bout of illness, Pete started making his own garments. These samples proved popular with other kayak racers and The Peak UK Kayaking Company was born.
Beginning with a loan from his dad, Pete bought materials and sewing equipment – which he learnt to use as he went along – but in 2012 Peak UK opened its own purpose-built factory on the edge of the beautiful Peak District National Park, fitted with Roland customisation equipment. Since then, Peak UK has produced custom kayaking and canoeing gear for athletes competing in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Pete and the Peak UK team were selected as the overall winner of the Roland Hero Awards in January by judges Gillian Montanaro, best-selling author and award-winning entrepreneur Beth Kempton, and Christian Duyckaert, president of printing industry organisation FESPA. After whittling down an incredibly strong shortlist, the judging panel decided that Pete best encompassed what it means to be a Roland user, representing creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and inspiration.
Jerry and Gillian presented the official winner’s trophy – printed using the Roland VersaUV LEF printer – along with a certificate in a gorgeous frame and details on Pete’s main prize: a trip of a lifetime to Iceland, Florida or Thailand. The Peak UK team also celebrated with a bottle of champagne.
Pete Astles says he’s ‘elated’ to win and admits that he ‘kind of hoped’ Peak UK would claim the top prize.
He comments: “I was really proud of our story – great product, great use of sublimation printing. It’s so great to get recognition outside of our sport and our industry for the products we make.”
Pete adds: “It’s a real reward for our team here. Everybody’s been involved in the design process, the selling, the shipping, the manufacturing, so it’s a really great team effort. Everyone should be proud. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Roland and the judges!”
Jerry Davies, Managing Director of Roland DG UK Ltd, adds: “It was a pleasure to meet Pete and the Peak UK team in the beautiful Derwent Valley. Peak UK demonstrates how creative ideas can come to life with the right technology – in this case reaching the global paddlesport garment market by utilising the brilliant Roland Texart system. Everyone at Roland sends huge congratulations to Pete and hopes he thoroughly enjoys his holiday.”
While Pete hasn’t confirmed his choice of destination, a trip to exotic Thailand with his family looks like the favourite.
“We’ve never been to Thailand and it looks amazing – I’d love to explore a new country and culture,” says Pete. “We’d like to try and get out kayaking when we’re there too!”
Watch the video of Pete and the Peak UK team receiving their prize by clicking here and read their story here: https://www.rolanddg.co.uk/gallery/customer-success-stories/apparel/peak-uk
For further information on Roland DG visit rolanddg.co.uk and to find out more about Peak UK visit peakuk.com.