Mia Fraser is one of the youngest competitors at this years Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge and is making her return to the Central West after debuting at last years event. At just 20 years of age, the Yarra Valley pilot was recently part of a team that represented Australia at the Women's and Junior Hot Air Ballooning Championships in Poland.
Ahead of her second visit to the much lauded Canowindra event, Mia said that is was always a pleasure to be part of an event that is well supported by the local and ballooning community. "The smiling faces always make us feel so welcome," she said. "This event is without a doubt an annual highlight for hot air balloon pilots and it's exciting to hear that there will be about 50 balloons flying this year".
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Mia, who got her student licence at the age of 15 followed by her private licence at 18, said she was expecting a strong battle for points, "There is a high level of competition this year, especially from the international pilots, so I am expecting to finish in the middle of the pack but hopefully higher," she said.
Mia is finalising her crew for the Balloon Challenge which includes close friend and crew chief, Tash Buckley. Both ladies are part of the "Flying Lemmings" team who have grown up flying together in the Yarra Valley. "It's exciting to see a lot more young people, especially girls, come into the sport," she said. "Tash and I are both really looking forward to the event".