Corlette hot air balloonist Ruth Wilson takes on juror role at Women’s World Championships

Action from the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championships.

CORLETTE’S Ruth Wilson has just completed a stint as juror at the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship.

A hot air balloon pilot for many years, Ruth has just participated as one of three FAI approved Jurors to rule on protests at the fifth Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championship, held from 4 – 9 September this year.

30 teams from thirteen countries descended on the township of Northam, north-east of Perth, to compete for the title of World Champion.

Ruth brings 42 years of competition experience to this role.

In 1981 Ruth was the first and only female to compete against male competitors at the World Hot Air Ballooning Championship held in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA.

The World Championship event is held every two years, with the next taking place in Nantes, France.

Ruth again was the sole female competitor at that event as she was in 1987 in Austria.

In 2014 the first female only World Championship was held in Poland.

World competition ballooning has undergone huge changes over the years.

For those first 30 years pilots were permitted to carry only a paper map and compass in their baskets as they worked to find wind directions at various altitudes to find the competition targets.

Carrying a radio brought heavy penalties.

The thinking of officials was that using a radio was receiving help from the ground and considered cheating.

“Competition pilots today carry a GPS, UHF and VHF radios, computer, Loggers, iPad for Balloon Live App and mobile phones,” Ruth Wilson told News Of The Area.

“The electronic world sits actively now in a balloon basket, particularly in ballooning competitions,” she said.

Last year Ruth’s autobiography ‘Conquering Clouds’ was published.

You can find out more about this modern day trail blazing adventurer at


Corlette local and juror Ruth Wilson at the 2023 Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championships.

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