EJ Churchill Shooting Ground has pulled out of hosting the Compak World Championship, which was set to take place on 24-27 August 2016. The ground made the decision due to the risk of attracting entries – last year’s world championship saw 496 compete in Estonia.
As part of the agreement of holding a world or European championship, each location must host a Grand Prix one year prior and the ground had 173 people compete in the UK Grand Prix on 22-23 May. EJ Churchill’s Victoria Tetley said that this figure met expectations: “It was something we knew would give us some pain in preparation for the World Championship, but it’s a big investment. Rob [Fenwick, MD of EJ Churchill] was talking to the guys at FITASC regarding the event next year but when someone isn’t prepared to negotiate it’s hard to put on a world-class event.”
A statement from Rob Fenwick said: “We have been trying to come to some arrangment with FITASC to share the risk and the reward for the event. It transpires that they are not prepared to do this so we have regrettably made the decision to cease negotiations, and as a consequence we will not be hosting the event in August 2016.”
FITASC president Mr Jean-François Palinkas said: “There was a problem between EJ Churchill and FITASC under BICTSF regarding a financial condition request by the shooting ground. EJ Churchill requested to change the financial bond and we have no problem with that, but the conditions are set by all 69 members of the General Assembly. This is the same contract everywhere in the world and during shoots the grounds can make a good profit, but we need to be careful about the ground taking too much money as it will be at a penalty to the shooters.”
Mr Palinkas confirmed that the world championship will move to another location in the country, though no other UK shooting ground has hosted a Grand Prix event in the past 12 months. A decision will be announced in the next few days.
Victoria at EJ Churchill said: “We are deeply disappointed. It’s a shame because there is so much we could do in the future, and it’s better for the sport if both sides can find a route through to make it a better event. The calendar will still be packed as EJ Churchill is 125 years old next year so I can’t say much at the moment but we will do have special events around the anniversary.”