And we are off... fierce competition for Canowindra International Balloon Challenge

Canowindra's International Balloon Challenge kicked off on Sunday, with pilots greeted by perfect flying conditions.

Competition kicked off on Sunday morning, with the Key Grab or "tube toss" taken out by Melbourne pilot Eddie Saunders.

Event co-founder Jan Kerr said it was great start to the challenge.

"So we did the key grab this time as a hula hoop, so they were given a 12 inch or 18 inch car inner tube and they had to throw that over the top of the pole... one of the young pilots from Melbourne, Eddie Saunders, actually won it. So he won $1000," Mrs Kerr said.

"We had a huge crowd there for the first Sunday morning which was quite amazing, the number of people that were there considering it wasn't the morning after the Balloon Glow.

"It was the first weekend and had a great number of people... quite a lot of the pilots got in fairly close so great crowd pleaser."

Monday morning saw the pilots head south towards Billimari while there was no competition flying on Monday afternoon.

Pilots headed towards Gooloogong on Tuesday morning.

At the time of writing, French pilot Clement Seigeot led the competition ahead of Nicola Scaife of Australia and Dominic Barefoot of Great Britain.

Mrs Kerr said the competition will be close throughout the week.

"It is going brilliantly, we have had some absolutely wonderful weather and flying conditions, we've had a heap of balloons in the sky and it really is going very, very well at the moment," she said.

"The competition should be fairly fierce. They will be trying to out maneuver each other."

Visitors and locals alike are encouraged to "chase" the balloons as they compete, ensuring drivers park safely off the road and refrain from entering private property.

There will also be the famous Cabonne Country Balloon Glow on Saturday night.

"As always, hoping for very calm winds and a lovely evening," Mrs Kerr said.

Tickets for events are available at with free entry to the Balloon Glow for children 17 years and under.