These days most people are familiar with commercial passenger ballooning, thanks to regular advertising by passenger flight operators. Tens of thousands of passengers are flown every year by dozens of commercial pilots around Australia.
Fewer people are aware that ballooning is an international sport and that Australian competition pilots are ranked amongst the best in the world and many fly regularly in Canowindra. Australia holds a National Championship every one to two years and there are a number of smaller regional competitions.
Canowindra was the venue for the 1988 Australian Bicentennial National Championships when over 40 colourful balloons filled the sky for 10 days of competition and again was the venue for the 2011,2012,2014 National Championships. Beside competition flying all balloonists make regular recreation flights, taking friends for flights with no aim other than to have a pleasant morning or afternoon flight. Canowindra is an ideal ballooning location with its open fields, scenic rolling countryside, stable weather conditions and most importantly, friendly landowners.
2010 Canowindra Challenge – Stephen Tomkinson & Robin Batchelor
For more information about sport ballooning and how you can become involved please go to the Australian Ballooning Federation website: www.abf.net.au