AUSTRALIAN pilot Nicola Scaife has taken out her third title in the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship, contested by 30 of the world’s best female pilots last week in Northam.
The 38-year-old from Newcastle had her eye on the prize from the event’s start on Monday, saying she was highly motivated to win a third title in her home country.
“I was really clear on what I wanted the week to look like and my team and I executed the vision so well. I couldn’t be happier!” Scaife said.
“I am also so impressed with our whole Australian team.
This was the first world championship event for the four other Australian pilots, they were focussed and embraced the experience and their fantastic results reflect that.
“Ballooning is a small community.
To win in my own country amongst my friends and so many familiar faces, people that have supported and encouraged my journey over the last decade, to share it with our community, it’s an incredible feeling.
“The teams have been so impressed with the event organisation and volunteers, the way the community of Northam has embraced the event. I have heard many positive comments and know that this welcome, and many peoples first impressions of Australia, will not be forgotten.
“I’m exhausted after the week of competition, but it is all slowly sinking in.
My third world championship title, so wild!”
Australian Ballooning Federation president Martin Tregale conveyed his congratulations to Scaife for taking the hat-trick.
“We are all so really proud of Nicola’s achievement winning her third World Women’s Championship and especially special to win this week on home soil.”
Runner up in the competition was Stephanie Hemmings from the UK and in third place Sanne Haarhuis from the Netherlands.
This is the first year the championships has been held outside of Europe and pilots completed 20 tasks in seven individual flights over the course of the week in ideal ballooning conditions.