Mandurah. You don't really need a passport to get there, and it isn't that far away unless you live in Joondalup. Likewise, I'm pretty sure the people of Mandurah would equate Joondalup with South Geraldton.
At 10am on Sunday, I loaded the Endorfinn onto the truckosaurus, packed a cut lunch and a Thermos, and set off down the worlds most speed camera-infested road to my first paddling race. Having stopped halfway for a cup of tea, a Bex and a little lie down, I soon arrived, and met my fellow paddlers Brett the racing snake and James, of glad-wrap fame. After doing the obligatory car shuffle, receiving a race brief ("Estuary - turn left and follow the boat, Ocean - turn right, keep Australia on your right, then take the first right") we made our way to the start point - The Cut at Port Bouvard.
It's a very nice part of the world in Mandurah and Bouvard. The canals are spectacular, as are the Taj Mahals that are built upon them. After some sound advice from my old boss at the Gorilla Biscuit Factory, I had been drinking a shedload of water for the previous 24 hours, so by the time we got to Bouvard it wasn't long before I was standing waste-deep waving to the occupants of Buckingham Palace, with a very relieved expression on my dial.
The Mandurah Duel is a 14km race with the vast majority of paddlers on composite ocean racing skis taking the ocean route whilst a few, mostly on the slower, plastic surf skis paddle the estuary. Needless to say, your fearless correspondent was paddling the estuary.
Despite putting my water bladder in upside down, rendering me a thirsty paddler, and my moobs flailing to-and-fro as I kept up a cadence, I ended up coming in about 20 minutes quicker than projected, in 1hr 27 min. I didn't come last, I actually overtook people, I never stopped paddling, and in the end won a shirt.
And the moobs? I think they're down to a C-cup.