Mackie pupils stranded as hurricane Sandy hits NY

A group of Mackie Academy pupils are stranded in New York after hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of America earlier this week.

The group of ten pupils had been competing in the Empire Mock Trial event over the weekend and were expected to fly home on Monday.

However due to Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane in diameter on record, the team of legal eagles were hunkered to their Brooklyn hotel until the storm had passed.

The group are accompanied by two teachers from the school including acting rector Jennifer MacDonald.

On Tuesday evening they reported that the weather was quite different compared to the previous days and their only problem is getting a flight home.

JFK and Newark Liberty - two of the New York area’s three main airports - were scheduled to open for a limited service on Wednesday, but severe delays were expected after the cancellation of more than 18,000 flights across the affected area.

On Tuesday one of the pupils Evie Brown said, despite the worry: “We are doing really well, I somehow managed to sleep through the storm! We’re all doing absolutely fine though.”

When the group finally get home, they’ll be showing off the two awards they won in the mock trials competition.

The first was won by former pupil Andrew Dossett for his portrayal of the expert witness Dr. Chase Tuchmont.

Andrew had the fourth highest individual score of any witness in the competition. Mackie also walked away with the Spirit of New York Award – an award voted for by other teams. In the voting for this Mackie won 28 out of 30 ballots.

Justin Matarresse, tournament director for EMTA said: “The spirit of EMTA award is an extraordinary honour. It’s awarded to the team that exhibits zealous advocacy while conducting itself with the utmost class and professionalism.”

There were favourable comments given to all team members through the rounds in which Team Mackie faced three American teams and one from Canada.

The ethos of Empire is not just about the legal competition, but also to make friends with other competitors from around the world. As part of the weekend the team were treated to a dinner cruise and dance around Manhattan, as well as karaoke and dancing on (what they thought was) their last night. Team members were; Attorneys: Matthew Edwards, Emily Esson, Ruairi Vaughan. Witnesses: Natalie Arandia, Erin Dicks, Andrew Dossett, Ashleigh Hunter, Paul Kirkwood, Lauren McArthur, Evie Watson Brown.