Living , Modern

Jan C.


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 Inducted 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)



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


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

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