Aussie sailors hold their own Cup at sea

IN the middle of the North Arabian Sea, with the giant nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on the horizon, they were racing aboard HMAS Toowoomba.

To mark Melbourne Cup day, actually run in Australia about seven hours earlier, the ship's crew staged their own race event, complete with a nine-race card and fashionably clad racegoers.

Alas this wasn't an occasion for all the crew, with others remaining at work as Toowoomba goes about her duties supporting Nimitz as part of the the US-led Task Force 50.

The event was preceded a week earlier by an auction of horses with $200 the top offer, making a substantial prize purse for race day.

Those not on duties gathered on the helicopter deck in the Middle East heat, with the first race kicking off at 1.30pm local time.

Racing was punctuated at one stage by a passing jet bomber from Nimitz.

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