Last weekend we hosted the Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta. It was a seriously mad few days and I am still catching up on missed sleep but was lots of fun to have over 20 balloons come and fly in ‘our patch’. It was also great to share the experience of flying amongst lots of other pretty bags of hot air with our very excited passengers! Saturday was a blue-sky flight from the west to the east of the valley. The launch site was abuzz with lots of photographers and spectators. I'm sure even the non-'morning people' would have had no problem shaking off their sleepiness and being energised by the spectacle around them. Sunday was a little bit more work. With rain on the radar we waited for a few hours for the skies to clear then managed a nice quick flight right across the valley, this time from the south-east out to the north-west. Most of the private pilots decided to stay on the ground and keep their balloons dry but our passengers still loved their morning and I have already had reports of people wanting to re-book for next years fiesta.
On the Saturday evening we had a social dinner at a local vineyard, Calais Estate. The President of ASAC (Air Sports Australia Confederation) Mike Close was there and presented me with the ASAC Air Sports Achievement medal. An excerpt from the ASAC website:
Nicola Scaife, current FAI Women’s World Balloon Champion, has been awarded the ASAC Air Sports Achievement Medal. The award recognises an exceptional air sport achievement, either nationally or internationally and either in competition or in record setting. Nicola has been a standout performer in hot air ballooning. She recently won the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge against a strong field of competitors, which included the five times Australian champion and the current men’s world champion.
This is an annual award and is not just for hot air ballooning but for all air sports that come under ASAC. I was honoured to receive this award and it is nice to be representing Australian ballooning in this way.
Thanks to Kath Soddy, Amy Fox and Matthew Scaife for these pics …