Nicola Scaife is from Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and works as a balloon pilot. She began competing in 2013 at the Australian National Ballooning Championships when she was in her late 20s.
In 2023 at the 5th FAI World Women's Hot Air Balloon Championships (WWHABC) she won her third gold medal on her home turf in her balloon 'Flow': 1700 cubic metres (60,000 cu ft) and made by Australia’s only balloon manufacturer, Kavanagh Balloons.
The 38-year-old from Newcastle, commented after the 2023 WWHABC: “Ballooning is a small community. To win in my own country amongst my friends and so many familiar faces, people that have supported and encouraged my journey over the last decade, to share it with our community, it’s an incredible feeling.”
Nicola Scaife also claimed gold in the WWHABC in 2014 and 2016, and a bronze in the 2018 competition.
Scaife in 2023, between Sanne Haarhuis (L) and Stephanie Hemmings (R). Image: Ruth Wilson