Keeping fit was the order of the day as the convoy headed for Colombo. Unauthorised items of equipment, e.g., Aussie badges and slouch hats, were called in, and shipboard routine continued as before. On 27 January—a clear, sunny Saturday—Petrol Company held its swimming-pool sports, the main events being contests on the greasy pole and diving for spoons.
That afternoon a race meeting, complete with ‘tote’ and printed programmes, was held for the whole ship on ‘A’ Deck. Six races—five heats and a final—were run for the Z4 Cup, won by Petrol Company with their ‘nag’ Quin's Post. Their jockey, Corporal Gilmore,1 was tipped as a good safe man, straight as a die; and one of his followers, backing solidly on the sixpenny tote, won eighteen shillings—the price of fifty-four canteen beers. The meeting went as briskly as a day at Riccarton or Ellerslie, and sixpences were hazarded with reckless abandon.