Living , Modern

Jan C.

O’Malley

1946

Jan Chance O’Malley, a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year, two-time Adams Cup winner, and the first ever winner of the IYRU Women’s World Sailing Championship, has been a leader in sailing, both on and off the water, for several decades.

Jan, the daughter of 1952 Olympic gold medalist Britton Chance, started sailing in 13’ wooden duck boats on Barnegat Bay in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Her first Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing (BBYRA) championship, in Sneakboxes at age 14, allowed her to move up to skippering an M Scow, a class she also promptly won. Following her early successes on the bay, she raced E Scows locally and nationally both as skipper and as crew, including with National Sailing Hall of Famers Runnie Colie and Sam Merrick, and with her husband, Ed O’Malley. In the 1970s Jan competed locally and nationally in 470s and Tasars with Ed and later with her sister-in-law, Pat O’Malley.

Jan’s formidable campaign in women’s sailing, with Pat as crew, was conducted in a wide variety of boats including 420s, 470s, Tasars, Rhodes 19s, Cal 20s, and Ensigns. Motherhood did not slow Jan down; she placed second in the 1971 Adams Cup while pregnant with her daughter, Christine, and nursed her then five-month-old son, Edwin, on the water in between races at the 1975 USYRU Women’s Doublehanded Championship, in which she finished third.

n 1986, always one to take on a new boat and a new challenge, Jan switched to racing Laser IIs locally and nationally. She sailed these demanding, high-performance doublehanded dinghies throughout her 40s, often against elite sailors twenty-plus years younger.

After winning the North American Laser II class championship in 1997 in heavy air conditions, Jan retired by transitioning into multi-hulls. She has owned a Corsair F-28R for the past 19 years and has cruised (always at top speed) with her family up and down the East Coast and in the North Channel, Ontario.

Jan’s lifelong commitment to sailing extends well beyond the racecourse. She has served as a US Sailing senior judge for over 25 years, including judging the Olympic Trials in 1992, 1996, and 2004, and judging the Sears/Bemis/Smythe Championships six times in the past decade.  She also served on multiple sailing-related committees (see bulleted list below), all while raising her kids and pursuing a successful career in software engineering. 

A staunch advocate for youth sailing and racing, Jan ran the Mantoloking Yacht Club sailing program for many years and has served as a long-term member of the MYC sailing committee and on the club’s Board of Governors. She is the co-founder, president and trustee of the Jersey Shore Youth Sailing Team and helped to establish and run the Carl Van Duyne Memorial Youth Racing Clinic for 15 years, providing the opportunity for youth sailors to benefit from the best of elite coaching and racing. In addition to being named Yachtswoman of the Year in 1969, 1970, and 1977, Jan received the USYRU One-Design Achievement award in 1988 and was inducted into the Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame in 2004.

Accomplishments and Honors

Year(s)

Place

Event

2004

nducted into Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame

1997

1st

North American Laser II Championship

1960–1995

BBYRA Championships (Sneakbox, M Scow, 470, Laser II), ~8 times

1988

USYRU One Design Achievement Award

1988,1987,1986, 1977

1st

World Duckboat Championship

1978

3rd

North American Tasar Championship

1977,1969,1970

US Yachtswoman of the Year

1977

1st

USYRU Women’s Doublehanded Championship

1977

1st 

YRU World Women’s Sailing Championship

1977

2nd

US Tasar Nationals

1971

2nd

US Women’s North American Championship (Adam’s Cup)

1970,1969

1st

US Women’s North American Championship (Adam’s Cup)

1973–1976

USYRU Women’s Doublehanded Championship (medaled every year)

 

Service

Year(s)

Position

2004–2010

SUNY Maritime Waterfront Committee

2002–2010

Ocean County College Sailing Advisory Committee

1997–2000, 2014–2016

Mantoloking Yacht Club, Board Membe

1993–Present

Jersey Shore Youth Sailing Team, President/Trustee

1986–2000 (Chair, 1988–1990)

Mantoloking Yacht Club Sailing Committee, Member

1983–1986

USYRU Executive Committee

1983–1986

Chairperson, USYRU Class Racing Committee

1979–1986

YRU Women’s Sailing Committee

1979–1983

US Olympic Yachting Committee

1977–1988

USISA Trustee

1973–1988

USYRU Women’s Single and Doublehanded Championship Committee

1969–1973

USYRU Adams Cup Committee


Judging

Year(s)

Position

1978–1984, 1992–Present

US SAILING Senior/National Judge

2000 – Present; Chair 2010 – Present US Junior Championships (Sears/Bemis/Smythe), Judge 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 (Chief)

BBYRA Appeals Committee

2011, 2017 (Chief)

US Women’s Doublehanded Championship, Judge

2012, 2014, 2017

US Optimist Dinghy Association Team Trials, Judge

2016

Laser Masters Nationals Judge

2015

US Youth Championship Judge

2014

E Scow Easterns, Chief Judge

2014

Sandpiper Nationals, Chief Judge

2014

Flying Scot North American Championship, Judge

2013, 2014

US Men’s Singlehanded Championship, Judge

2013

US Women’s Singlehanded Championship, Judge

2013

US Ensign National Championship, Judge

2013

Sunfish North American Championship, Judge

1992, 1996, 2004

US Olympic Trials, Judge



  • Filter Nominees

  • Reset

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation


Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame

Give the gift of Support

We are looking to the future, and with you by our side it will be bright! With your support the possibilities in 2021 are limitless.