THE Hartlepool Mail has won an award for its coverage of The Tall Ships Races.
The Mail's news team picked up the prize for front and back page design at the Tom Cordner North East Press Awards last night.
Judges praised the Mail's designers for grabbing the chance to "fly their own flag" and hailed the wraparound front and back pages – produced throughout the Hartlepool leg of The Tall Ships Races – as "real collectors' items".
The award came with two prizes, the Splash Award and the Tony Dumphy Trophy.
The judges citation read: "In an age when a culture of design-by-template is widespread in newspapers, it is reassuring to see that good splash subbing is still alive.
"It shows that when the story deserves it and there are good images to support it, the day-to-day approach can be suspended in favour of bravura treatment, even the occasional use of a wraparound spread that underlines the sense of occasion.
"It was Hartlepool's year to welcome The Tall Ships Races, and the Mail's designers grabbed the chance to fly their own flag. A real set of collectors' items."
The honour meant the Mail retained the award which it also won last year.
Last night's awards, held at the Customs House Theatre in South Shields, also saw the Mail shortlisted in a number of other categories.
They were reporter Richard Mennear in the category of North-East Trainee Journalist of the Year; Tom Collins, Chris Young, and Frank Reid in the Online Video News section; Keith McCaffery in both the Creative Image Design and Splash Subbing category; and the Hartlepool Mail news team in the Creative Image Design category.