Who is King Billy?
Our famous annual handicap time trial series pays homage to a local indigenous figure who was reportedly laid to rest on Dinah Island at Shorncliffe in the last recorded “native” burial in the area in 1892. Paddlers in the King Billy Cup pass the Island twice as they complete the 5km course from Cabbage Tree Creek, up Nundah Creek and back again.
The King Billy Cup was established in 2010/11. It is a series of 10 handicap time trials staged at fortnightly intervals (every second Thursday afternoon) between October and February. Participants accrue points for participation, improving their personal best times and a bonus point if they cross the line first. The paddler with the most points at the conclusion of 10 races takes the kitty and is immortalised on the King Billy Cup trophy.
This event is very popular with paddlers because it combines good-natured competition with challenge and camaraderie. Entrants race the clock as well as each other, and the handicap system gives every paddler a fair shot at line honours.
Anyone can have a go in virtually any kind of craft. It is not unusual to see sea kayaks, SUP’s, open skis and outriggers lining up at the start alongside K’s and TK’s. SCC members, members of other clubs and friends of paddling are welcome to compete and then join in the celebratory post-race snacks and drinks by the water.
A note about insurance: The King Billy Cup is not a sanctioned AC event. If you are a member of Australian Canoeing, then your membership includes personal insurance which covers you while paddling. Non QC members should consider appropriate insurance coverage before competing.
How Do I Get Started in the Series?
Simply check the Series Calendar for the next time trial date. King Billy contenders assemble at 5pm at the boat ramp, Sinbad St, Shorncliffe. Competition gets underway at 5.30pm.
Entry for each heat of the King Billy Time Trial Series in season is $4 – this covers your contribution to the kitty and pizzas afterwards. BYO chairs and drinks of choice!
If you would like to get in touch with the series organisers, please contact the Sandgate Propellers.