Aussie yacht designer Joe Adams murdered in The Philippines
The start of the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race in Port Jackson. Source: AFP
RENOWNED Australian yacht designer Joe Adams has been murdered at his home in The Philippines.
The 81-year-old designer of 1973 Sydney-Hobart winner, Helsal, was found lying in a pool of blood on Monday at his home in Alpa Village, in Baguio City's west - a region popular with expatriates.
It appeared Mr Adams had attempted to fight off his attackers before his throat was slashed by a machete, Philippines police director Benjamin Magalong said.
Police are investigating the motive for the killing and forensic experts are examining possible fingerprints left by the suspect or suspects.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would only confirm an 81-year-old Sydney-born man was found dead in the Philippines on Monday, and that it was providing consular assistance to his family.
Mr Adams spent most of his life in Sydney and became well known not only for designing Helsal, record-setting line-honours winner of the 1973 Sydney-Hobart yacht race, but also the eponymous Adams 10 metre-class yacht.
In later life he moved to Port Macquarie, on NSW's north coast, before settling full-time with his partner in the Philippines and eventually selling his business and retiring.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore Howard Piggott said this year's Sydney-Hobart race may carry some form of tribute to Mr Adams, although the matter has not yet been given formal consideration.
Sydney yacht designer Graham Radford, who was on board Helsal in the 1973 Sydney-Hobart race, says Mr Adams mentored him in yacht design throughout the 1970s.
Some facets of Mr Adams' designs are still in existence today, particularly with ocean cruisers, he said.
"Joe was a great designer from back in the 1970s and I was privileged to work with him," Mr Radford said.
"... As a designer he was an excellent natural - one of the best and I was extremely fortunate that I could learn from him."
Mr Radford said Mr Adams was a "complicated character" who'd had a huge influence on his career.
"In terms of what he did for me, I started a career which is now 38 years on, and the basis of starting that career is Joe," he added.
"If you talk about influence, in terms of someone's professional life, you can't do better than that."
Mr Piggott also paid tribute to Mr Adams' yacht designs.
"We're always sad when a yacht designer of such note dies and we send our condolences to his family," Mr Piggott said.
"Helsal in 1973 was the hottest thing around and did a number of Hobart races and went on and got records in other races."