Ending on a high

Mike Bartlett and Cheryl Hall tackle the last big competitions of the season, the World Compak and British Open

Mike shooting at Galgamacsa – next stop High Lodge, followed by the annual carp fishing trip!
Photos: Mike Bartlett

First up this month it was the World Compak in Galgamacsa. Hungary have hosted two of the best events of the year, and this was one of them. The same ground held a major Fitasc competition two years ago, which was also a fantastic event. 

At this year’s World Compak, the targets were great, and could be separated into two halves: normal Compak typical of what you get abroad, and some new-type of layouts which were tougher.

I suppose you could class the tougher layouts as ‘Super Compak’. It certainly sorted out the top few places, with very few shoot-offs required. 

The village area was great and the trade stands were busy all week. Unfortunately I was ill for the first three days of shooting and Cheryl was ill for two days. The problem was that the food needed the constitution of an ox, something that Cheryl and I simply don’t have. 

Being unwell really affected our ability to concentrate, and our shooting suffered as a result. I only felt right on the last day when I finally shot to my potential, shooting a 49 ex 50 – I just missed my last bird on the first layout in the tough final simultaneous pair. 

Cheryl was really poorly on the last day. She was in contention until then, and it’s a real shame that food from the number one rated restaurant and hotel on Trip Advisor should write off the competition for both of us like that. Cheryl still managed silver in the World Cup and it was good that she came away with something. 

British Open Sporting

Next up was the British Open at High Lodge. This was my last competition of the year before I take what has become my annual break to go carp fishing.

High Lodge have put on some great events this year and this was another one in that category. The Sportrap was one of the hardest we have shot this year but the targets were all there to be hit. 

Cheryl in action at the World Compak; sadly both Mike and Cheryl were unwell during the trip, which affected their performances

The Sporting course was a great mix of targets. There were some tricky angles and use of height that made some targets very deceptive and difficult to read. We really enjoyed shooting it, but for me personally I struggled with the four-pair repetition. That cost me eight lost birds and I finished on 103.

I felt the first floppy incomer was quite wind-affected in the afternoon, and you needed some luck to straight it. The wind got up for the last two days of the shoot, which reportedly pushed some targets several yards further out, although they were all still hittable. 

Cheryl shot the course really well, finishing on 110, and qualifying in both Class and Ladies, with the joint highest score of the day in AA. 

For the final on the Sunday, the morning started still, but the wind got up and became incredibly gusty in the afternoon. Anyone who qualified for the Super Final deserves credit for shooting fantastically well in the blustery wind. Most of the class and category winners shot in the morning squads, which luckily for them was before the wind got up. 

Cheryl Hall (third from right) takes her place in the Team GB line-up at the World Compak Championships in Hungary

High Lodge do a great job of running events, and they set great targets. They are also one of the few grounds supporting Compak here in the UK. I know that for some people the ground can be a long haul to get to, but it’s worth the trip.

When they do a Compak next year, why not give it a go? There are some great little campsites nearby if you are on a budget, and some lovely B&Bs for those wanting a little more comfort.

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