Naming the New Boat
After racing at the Reading University Head on Saturday, the team and many of the support staff, supporters and Committee met up this Sunday for the naming of our new Hudson 8. After a successful history with Hudson, they have provided us with yet another outstanding shell, supporting us in our quest for a win at the 2017 CRUK Boat Races.
After their usual Sunday training session, the team spent some time chatting with their supporters, before moving downstairs for the actual naming ceremony.
The entire team had chosen a name that resonated with them this year, in more than just one way. The boat is named STYX, after the Greek goddess and the river between Earth and the Underworld.
Styx also has a mythological connection to Osiris, the name of our reserve crew.
In mythology, Styx is associated with qualities such as strength and power: Achilles gained his power in this river; she herself is the daughter of Tethys and mother of Nike (victory), Zelos (zeal), Kratos (power) and Bia (force).
But, really, in the end, the reason this name resonated the most with us was in relation to a book trilogy (His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman). In these books, to cross the river safely from Earth, you had to tell the Harpies, who were ferrying you across, true and remarkable stories of your life. If you could, you would not be trapped in the afterlife. This served as a reminder that you should live your life in such a way that you have stories and worthwhile memories to reflect on at the end of it. I think everyone in this Club has had to overcome challenges to have gotten so far - some things we have shared, some things we have faced in private - and all of these things will be with us in the boat to strengthen us for 'crossing' the river on race day and will form part of our eventual story.
After the boat naming Zoe Lee (BB 2008, Olympic silver medalist 2016) gave an inspiring talk to the women of OUWBC leaving us overall excited and focused for the next month in the lead up to the CRUK Boat Races.