Sunday, February 25, 2018



Join VixenSports as we follow the journey of Nicola Scaife as she pursues hot air ballooning success! Nicola will share her stories right here!


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All ready for the 22nd FAI Hot Air Ballooning World Championships.

It feels like only yesterday that I was writing about my time at the women’s world championships, tomorrow I’ll be boarding the plane to Japan to compete in my first open championships! The competition starts on Monday 1st November and runs for 7 days. There will be 102 of the world’s best pilots from 31 countries competing for ballooning’s top title. Of the 102 pilots competing only 6 will be women, so as the current 2x women’s world champion I feel like I have a big responsibility to be a great representative for the girls and get the results.

The Australian team for these championships is made up of 3 team members Matthew Scaife (my husband!), Peter Wright from Melbourne and myself. Along with the three pilots, our support crew is made up of another 13 team members, complete with independent wind-reading team, a photographer, a social media/tech support guru, a team manager and then our own various crew members too.

Once we land in Fukuoka we will drive an hour to Saga, home of the world championships and hit the ground running with 3 practise days before the championships. I flew at the pre-worlds in Saga last year so it is good that I am familiar with the flying area and I’m feeling confident in my flying and hoping that I can put all of the experience I have gained in the last few big competitions into practise here. So, wish me luck and watch this space!

You can follow my progress here:

On my team facebook page:

On the Australian Competition Ballooning Facebook page:

And the world championships website:

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2x Women’s World Champion!!

BiršBalionČempio ft IevaJūraitė (38) WWCposter

This is my first post and it is nice to start with a win! Unfortunately we do not have any balloon competitions in Australia this year, so I have not been able to post about my progress leading up to the recent Women’s World Championships. While competition ballooning is quite big in Europe, Japan and the US, that is not the case here in Oz so it was interesting to go into a world championship with no competition practice! I’m beginning my search to find some sponsors as I would like to be able to have the time, (and $$) to compete at events leading up to a big competition such as the world championships.

Presentation1Last month I was in Lithuania competing at the 2nd FAI Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championships. The championships are held every 2 years, and are the most important event for a balloon pilot. There were 41 women from 20 countries participating. I was the reigning champion and knew that I had improved a lot since my last world championships, so was looking forward to the competition and defending my title. The weather was not too kind to us and we only managed 3 flights in 4 days. I started solidly and was in second place after flight 1. In the next two flights I flew consistently well and extended my lead, winning with a significant gap to second place! The silver medal went to Belgium and the Bronze to the USA. It was such a mixture of excitement and relief to defend my title. As a result of my win, I gain an automatic entry into the open world championships that will be held in Austria 2018.

WWCtarget PodiumWWC
Next on the calendar for me is this year’s open world championships that will be held in Saga, Japan at the start of November. There will be 110 pilots competing, of which only 7 will be women!! It is a huge event and the organisers are expecting approx. 1 million spectators to come through the gates in 10 days. I’m so excited that my first open world championships will be held there! In the mean time I am back home working (flying passenger balloons) and preparing for a few months time.
Here is a link to my video of the championships: more information, photos and results visit the Worlds website: