The "Cup" Lankawi Style

Two years ago I was amazed at the way the Australians, all Australians, went to the “Cup”. The Melborne Cup is the largest horse race in Australia, but it is more than a horse race, it is a national sensation. It is the race that stops a nation. Every and I mean every Aussie gets up, gets dressed to the nines, suits and buttoners, ladies in long dresses and big hats, oh the big hats! Kids learn to bet in the schools, ya dig that, and the wagering is staggering all across the country. The parties are planned a year in advance, clubs fill, bars are packed and private functions galore.

So in this small corner of the world, Rebock Island, just off Landkawi Malaysia, a small group of Aussie cruisers were not left out, nor where their friends. When we arrived we saw the poster and announcement of contests for best dressed and best hat, the icon of the Cup lover.

As I heard of this late I did not do my usual research into the horses. In my past I have been a big race horse fan. The first job out of high school was at the track in Seattle as an exercise boy and pony boy—the kid who rides the stout little horse that leads the race horse to the gate. I have followed the ponies ever since.

So I scurried up to the bar at Rebock Marina just in time for post time and watched the huge field of horses ushered into the starting gate. The start was amazing. One horse took the lead and kept it most of the race, I saw it weakening and said at the last pole the race is just beginning. From back of the field well positioned on the rail came Green Moon to take the race.

The crowd of enthusiastic cruisers went wild. After the race the prizes were given for best hat and best dressed. So the “Cup” was celebrated in style in the jungles of Malaysia as it was all across Australia.