Firing up for the Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championship

Firing up for the Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championship

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The FIFA Women’s World Cup is sadly now over and, along the way, it’s smashed a heap of records, setting new heights (yes, pun intended) for TV viewership and audience numbers. Next up on the sporting calendar, is the 5th FAI Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championship which launches in WA on September 2nd.

Teams from around the world are descending on Perth, or more specifically, Northam, to prepare for the Women’s World Championship — the first time it has been held outside of the northern hemisphere. 30 pilots from 13 nations will be competing and will mark the largest number of balloons that have ever flown in a competition event in Western Australia. 

The last championship was held in Poland five years ago, in pre-COVID times — something that seems to have become the standard measurement of time for events. As such, there’s a lot of excitement from the competing teams, especially as it’s being held in WA. 

Five Australians will be flying high, including two-time Women’s World Champion, Nicola Scaife, from NSW. 

Event Details

The Women’s World Championships present an opportunity to see Northam and Ballardong Nyoongar Boodja at its best with the sky full of colour as 30 balloons float majestically across the rolling hills over vivid canola fields.

The event kicks off with the Northam Festival of Ballooning and the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, September 2nd from 4:00 pm to 9.30 pm at Bernard Park. There’ll be live music on the Women Rock stage, featuring Katie Steele, balloon demos, and international food. There’s also a chance to meet the pilots immediately after the Opening Ceremony which starts at 4:00 pm. It’s free to attend and thousands of spectators are anticipated across the event week.

For details on spectating during the event, follow the Northam Ballooning Events Facebook page or Instagram page and to find out more about the Women’s Worlds visit

Flying Times

Flying during the competition starts at approximately 6.30 am and 4.30 pm for one to two hours. Balloon launch locations will be made available on the Facebook page immediately after the pilot briefings at 6:00 am and 4:00 pm. 

Practice flights are scheduled on the mornings of Saturday, September 2nd and Sunday, September 3rd. Competition flights will then begin from Monday, September 3rd to Friday, September 8th with either a reserve competition flight, or a Fly-in Finale on the morning of Saturday, September 9th. For safety reasons, flying will be subject to weather conditions.

This article was sponsored by Northam Ballooning Events Western Australia. All images supplied.