Oriel College held a Blessing and Dedication Ceremony last Sunday to celebrate the new Women’s VIII boat, The Blessed Mary.
The sleek new boat, which will debut in Torpids this week, was named and blessed in a ceremony with the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Richard Venables, the Provost, Neil Mendoza, and the Chaplain, the Revd Rob Wainwright. Following the ceremony, The Blessed Mary was launched on the river for her maiden voyage, giving the crowd a sneak peek of her capabilities.
There was a fantastic turnout and show of support at the ceremony from the Oriel community, and the beautiful weather boded well for the upcoming Torpids races, the first of which begins this Wednesday.
Torpids is a bumps style race that takes place on the Isis every Hilary Term. The aim of the race is to ‘bump’ the crew in front while avoiding getting caught from behind, and the two crews that finish at the top of the First Division are declared ‘Head of the River.’
Last season Oriel secured a Double Headship, which in addition to the Double Headship of 2006, makes Oriel the only College to have achieved such a feat in this competition.
This year’s Torpids will run between 27 February and 2 March, and everyone is encouraged to come down to the river to support all of Oriel’s crews.
You can follow the Oriel College Boat Club Facebook page for more information on this week’s races.