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 (Thursday afternoon or Saturday morning) 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 Paddle Australia (PA) or Paddle Queensland (PQ) event. If you are a member of PA, then your membership includes personal insurance which covers you while paddling. Non PA/PQ 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 45mins before each race at the boat ramp, Sinbad St, Shorncliffe.

Entry for each heat of the King Billy Time Trial Series in season is $1 – 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.

King Billy Race Calendar 2021/2022

Race Date Time High Tide Comment
1 Thursday, 14th October 2021 5:30pm 2.09m@4:44pm Postponed due to weather and water conditions.
1 Saturday, 16th October 2021 7:30am 1.70m@6:32am Outgoing
2 Saturday, 23rd October 2021 7:30am 2.20m@11:58am Incoming
3 Saturday, 6th November 2021 7:30am 2.50m@10:27am Incoming
4 Saturday, 20th November 2021 7:30am 2.30m@10:01am Incoming
5 Saturday, 4th December 2021 7:00am 2.52m@9:24am Incoming
6 Thursday, 16th December 2021 5:30pm 1.80m@7:45pm Incoming
7 Saturday, 15th January 2022 7:00am 2.23m@8:07m Date Change
7 Thursday, 13th January 2022 5:30pm 1.67m @6:27pm Cancelled
8 Saturday, 29th January 2022 7:00am 2.30m@7:19am Slack
9 Saturday, 12th February 2022 7:00am 2.06m@6:55am Outgoing
10 Saturday, 26th February 2022 7:00am 2.16m@5:55am Outgoing


Note: Proposed dates can be subject to change, due to unforeseen weather events and COVID restrictions. Any changes will be posted to Facebook and to Sandgate Paddling Club website in advance.

Past King Billy Cup Winners

2021/ 2022 Bill (the Legend) Ledgerwood
2020/2021 Donna McAndrew
2019/2020 Trent Litherland & Jenny Theiss/Donna Wilson (K2)
2018/2019 Armand LeRoux
2017/2018 Trent Litherland
2016/2017 Gavin Cook