Stellar Team

Ian Black

Ian Black completed his first 56 Kilometre Cape Point Challenge at the age of 17 in 2001 with his brother (then 15) in a double surfski. From there on he was hooked on distance racing and after finishing school completed his first 220km Berg River Canoe Marathon. Most comfortable in a surfski, Ian progressed over the years to finish 2nd in the 2007 Cape Town Surfski Series.
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Sandrine Hamel–Meyer

Sandrine a Native of Quebec Canada is an outright fast waterman from K1, Prone to Surfski, she can do it all. Spending time in South Africa learning Surfski she is a serious threat on the down winds and flats alike. We are excited to see how this young padder grows. Sandrine’s love of paddling is contagious, exuding love of the sport and those around it.
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Mike Herbert

Mike Herbert is one of the most competitive paddlers in the US with the greatest of dispositions. Residing in Arkansas, Mike travels far afield in the South and Midwest, making his mark on distance and sprint events alike! We are excited to have Mike paddle our boats and he has many course records to his name with the SEL Ultra. This Mike will also be paddling our Apex 85 ICF K1, so watch out on those calm days
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Joel Pekoz

Another relative newcomer to paddling, Joel an army veteran of the 101st airborne brought his speed from running into his paddling. Joel marched through the ranks quickly with enthusiasm to take the top spot at most regional races. Joels positivity and willingness to help others is unmatched. His desire to learn, compete and improve surely will see him continue to gain speed.
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Janda Ricci-munn

Gloucester Massachusetts native, Janda brings a lot of Elite triathlon experience to the paddling and multisport scene. Janda’s engine is legendary in New England and he quickly acclimated to paddling, coming in 2nd in the 2022 Great stone dam classic racing in an intermediate ski. Janda also won the 2022 Josh Billings Triathlon, helped by his smoking fast cycling and running too. Janda will soon be vying for the top spots at all the kayak races. Living in Gloucester, he will be a force in the ocean too.
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Hollie Hall

Hollie Hall began competitive kayaking in 2018 and was immediately captivated by the sport. In 2018, she took 2 silver medals (women's tandem, women's unlimited) and a gold (women's sea kayak) at the USCA Nationals in Syracuse, NY. Hollie also entered her first Chattajack 31 in Chattanooga, TN, and took first in the women's kayak division. She attended the 2019 USCA Nationals in Warren, PA and swept all three categories bringing home 3 gold medals (women's sea kayak, touring, and unlimited). The USCA also awarded her with the "Outstanding Paddler of the Year Award" 2019, one of their most prestigious awards given. In 2019, Hollie also competed in her second Chattajack and placed third in women's surfski in the Stellar SEA. She's looking forward to many upcoming exciting competitions.
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Zach Alva

My name is Zach Alva. I first started paddling flatwater sprint kayaks in 2015. From the moment I could actually balance the boat, I knew I was going to push my limits in the sport. After 4 years of progressively intense training, I qualified for the k1 1000m and k1 500m spot at the U23 world championships in Pitesti, Romania, where I made the semi finals. After a lull in training to attend engineering school between 2019 and 2021, I re-entered the 2022 season. After missing out on a national team spot at trials, I went on to place 3rd in the senior men's 500m at Ted Houk, and 2nd 3rd in the k1 1000m and k1 500m respectively at the sprint national championships. In addition to improving my sprint performance this year, I am proud to be partnering with Stellar Kayaks in Surf Ski, and am excited to expand my paddling repertoire and to represent Stellar at surf ski races along the west coast this coming season. U23 sprint world championships 2019 Pitesti, Romania. Semi finalist in k1 1000m and k1 500m US sprint national championships, 2022, Clermont Ohio. Silver medalist k1 1000m, bronze medalist k1 500m Ted Houk Regatta, 2022, Seattle Washington. Bronze medalist, k1 500m
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Petri Alva

My name is Petri Alva. I have been paddling K1 and surfski since 2015 with my team, River Town Racers. I have competed on the national circuit in sprint for 4 years, becoming national champion 22 times in the youth and junior divisions. I have also raced internationally with the US Junior National Team for Two seasons, Competing at the 2021 Junior National Championships in Portugal, the 2021 Olympic Hopes Regatta in the Czech Republic, and the 2022 Junior World Championships in Hungary. My top result internationally was a 6th place finish in the U18 mens K2 500 meters in 2021. I am super excited to improve and expand my surfski skills this season with Stellar, after having some great results locally and at the 2021 Hano Hano challenge.

2 years in a row competing internationally at the U18 level (top 6 result 2021), 4 National Championships attended, 34 medals won in various youth and junior divisions, 7 years in the sport thus far for bothj sprint and surfski.
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