The Australian National Ballooning Championships was something of a family affair this year when a husband and wife took first and second place in the contest.
Over 8,000 people were gathered to watch hot air balloonists take part in a five-day event which saw competitors take part in the championships, involving them dropping weighted strings onto huge crosses placed in various locations along the course in WA’s Avon Valley.
Not only did husband and wife team Matthew and Nicola Scaife (the current Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Champion) take the top two spots, but all three top positions were taken by Australians, with Peter Wright – a contestant from Melbourne – taking third spot.
This was no mean feat for the Aussies, who had stiff competition from around 30 pilots from all over the world, including competitors from the UK, Russia and Japan.
All three have now qualified to participate in the World it Air Ballooning Championships which are set to take place in Japan next year.
Speaking to ABC.net about his victory, Mr. Scaife said:
“The gradient winds were pretty slick during the week and they made great conditions for pilots. You had to be pretty quick on your feet. We had some great fun with winds getting up to 50 kilometres an hour.”
Anyone who is interested in participating in hot air ballooning in this country will find hot air balloon rides in South Wales, Swindon, Bath and many other popular UK locations.