Catching a wave with Andy Yates

Updated

Suzuki Australia has teamed up with kiteboarder Andy Yates and added another world champion to its ambassadorial stable.

Twenty year old Andy – Australia’s first world champion in kite boarding – will be transported to his golden sand playgrounds in a brand new Suzuki SX4 AWD.

Born in Townsville and raised in the surfing heartland of Caloundra, Andy started surfing at Maroochydore when he was just seven.

A champion rugby player, he was selected for regional trials before a series of concussions and a potentially serious eye injury forced a re-think of his future prospects.

That led to an encounter with his kite surfing uncle and a timely present of some kite surfing lessons for his 15thbirthday.

Less than a year later he was competing – and winning – in his new sport, leading to an invitation to compete at the worldwide ‘Young Blood’ event in Egypt.

In 2008 he won the Professional Kite Riders Association (PKRA) Rookie of the Year title and 18thoverall, improving to fifth in the 2009 season.

In 2010 he fought a gripping three-way duel with Spaniard Alex Pastor and Dutch champion Youri Zoon, before securing the title in the penultimate event in New Caledonia.

Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers said the company was proud to join forces with a genuine star of one of the world’s fastest growing sports.

“Suzuki has a long association with sports stars and we are very happy to welcome Andy to our family,” Devers said.

Andy said he was “stoked” to have the backing of one of the biggest auto companies in the world behind him.

“I’ve always liked Suzukis. Everywhere we go around the world, you see them on the beaches where we compete. The SX4 is the perfect vehicle for my lifestyle,” said Andy.

He joins an extensive Suzuki sponsorship portfolio including the National Snowsport Series, Olympic aerial skiing champion Lydia Lassila and the Melbourne Storm rugby league club.

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