On the top of THE WORLD
It seems the sky's the limit for New South Wales mum Nicola Scaife, who has recently successfully defended her Women's World Hot Air Ballooning Championship title In Lithuania.
Soaring above 41 pilots from 20 countries in the five-day series, the 31-year-old secured the title for the second time after winning the inaugural competition in Poland in 2014.
"I'm feeling completely elated and also relieved,” says Nicola, who finished more than 1,700 points ahead of her nearest competitor.
“Town win the first women's world championship was an incredible feeling. It was my first big competition and I didn't really know what to expect.
“Coming into the second world championships I had certainly put more pressure on myself to win. I had more experience and I knew that I was flying well and had a good chance to defend my title.”
Nicola who when not competing pilots for her husband's family business, Balloon Atoft. in the Hunter Valley. Adds: “There has boon a lot of planning hard work dreaming, expense and energy gone into this, but to be able to say that I am the two-time Women's World Champion makes it all worth it!”
Taking to the skies again along with 20 balloonists from around the country for the beautiful display of colour that is the annual Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta the mum of one is looking forward to a slightly more serene flight this time.
It really is a breathtaking experience to on-board one of the many balloons as they float together at dawn over the vineyards. We are looking forward to the opportunity to do it all again,” she says. “This is the sixth time the event has been staged and organisers are expecting this year to be the biggest yet, attracting close to 200 ballooning enthusiasts looking to take in the spectacular scenery from the air.
Once back down to earth, celebrations will continue with a gourmet breakfast and champagne tasting. "There will be live music and a real party atmosphere," adds Nicola.
Taking place October 22-23, tickets for last year’s event sold out quickly so people are encouraged to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.