Peak UK 'blown away' to be named Roland Hero 2018

January 30, 2019

Roland DG is delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural Roland Hero Awards 2018.

The Roland Hero Awards were designed to recognise the awesome users of Roland systems, to reflect the incredible diversity of our industry, and to demonstrate the importance of people in our exciting sector.

Since April 2018, Roland users from across the EMEA region have been sharing their amazing stories, showcasing the remarkable things they achieve and the impact they make on their businesses, their families, their communities, and themselves.

Now, from all of the fantastic entries and an incredibly strong shortlist, Roland DG is thrilled to announce that the Roland Hero 2018 has been named as Peak UK. A Judges’ Special Mention and three Highly Commended titles have also been awarded.

Peak UK is a kayaking apparel company based in the historical Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, UK. In the shadow of the world's first modern textile factory, former canoe slalom athlete Pete Astles founded Peak UK in order to improve the fit, colour, and technical performance of clothing products in this market. Pete has grown a business from the ground up, building his own premises, and he now sells internationally with the help of a Roland Texart dye-sublimation printer to brand attractive, technical garments for customers including Olympic medalists – and he shows no signs of slowing down.

The winner was selected at an event in Geel, Belgium, on January 10th, 2019 by three judges: President of FESPA Christian Duyckaerts; best-selling author and award-winning entrepreneur Beth Kempton; and Roland DG EMEA's Head of Marketing Gillian Montanaro. Each judge was asked to score 23 shortlisted entries in the key areas of Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration.

"Pete Astles of Peak UK is determined, focused, and passionate about making a difference to a sport he clearly loves," says Gillian Montanaro. "His story really had it all."

Christian Duyckaerts comments: "Pete at Peak UK is outstanding as a designer, a printer, and also a retailer, making him a very inspirational Roland Hero."

"Peak UK shows that there are many ways to contribute towards reaching a goal; Olympic medal glory isn't just about the person on the podium," adds Beth Kempton. "That really makes Peak UK an inspiration for young people."

Pete's prize includes an incredible trip of his choice to Thailand, Iceland or Florida.

He comments: "We're blown away! It's truly amazing that all our hard work is so well appreciated. Not only did our project win Olympic gold in Rio and London, to top it all it took the title of Roland Hero as well. Thank you so much Roland for your support and for making this all possible."

With the standard of entries so high, the judges gave further awards to four more Roland Heroes.

The Judges' Special Mention prize has been awarded to Gemanco Design. An offshoot of a construction specialist, this Italian business is an expert in creative custom-printed wallpapers, wall stickers, tailor-made resin mosaics and much more, relying on Roland printers including a Roland VersaUV LEJ-640.

"I love how Gemanco has developed – it's ambitious, scalable and very professional," comments Christian.

Beth adds: "Gemanco has built a flourishing business, showing what you can do with Roland technology."

Three shortlisted entries were given Highly Commended status. Lieuwe Boards, a custom kiteboard maker and VersaSTUDIO BN-20 user from the Netherlands, was recognised for its cutting-edge designs and rapid success; UK-based Nutmeg Studio stood out for its development from the kitchen table to famous retailers, using a Roland CAMM-1 GR-640 cutter and a Roland eco-solvent print and cut device to produce beautiful products for the home; and Roland printer/cutter user In Your Face from the Canary Islands, Spain – a windsurfing graphics business that started from scratch following redundancy.

"The inaugural Roland Hero Awards received so many fantastic entries that it was really tough to decide on one winner," comments Gillian Montanaro. "Christian, Beth and I were so impressed by the incredible standard of applications, truly demonstrating the Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration that runs through the Roland community.

"Peak UK is a worthy recipient of the title of Roland Hero 2018, while Gemanco Design, Lieuwe Boards, Nutmeg Studio and In Your Face should all be very proud. Congratulations to them all."

Roland DG would also like to extend its warmest thanks to everyone who got involved in the Roland Hero Awards 2018

Watch Peak UK’s video and their winning story below: 

For further information on Peak UK, please visit

For further information on Roland DG, please visit

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