Deceased , Modern

Martin James



1929 - 2019

(O’Meara pictured at left)

America’s Cup syndicate manager and crew boss, Lightning sailor and class leader; Martin “Max” O’Meara was a fixture in the sailing community. When he was nominated for the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Ted Turner (pictured above with O’Meara at left) wrote a letter  that included Turner’s sailing resume, stating that Ted Turner says Max O’Meara was with him for most of his successful regattas, and that he considered him an integral part of his campaigns.

Whether it be his involvement in Junior Sailing Programs, 5.5M Class, CCA & IOR Rating Committees, One Ton Class or America’s cup. Max’s management skills were always greatly appreciated and respected.

A few Offshore Races Max has competed in: Trans Atlantic (2), Trans Pac, SORC (15), Newport Bermuda (8), Middle Sea, Annapolis Newport,Mackinac (5), Sydney Horbart (3), Fastnet (5) missed ’79. Admirals Cup (3), Cowes Week (5), Jamaica, and many more.

America’s Cup Campaigns

  • 1974 Mariner
  • 1977 & 1980 Courageous
  • 1982-83 Co-managed the Defender Courageous Campaign with Gary Jobson, Tom Blackaller, and Paul Cayard.
  • Involvement including both crewing and syndicate management
  • He was the liaison for the syndicate and the New York Yacht Club, fund raising, etc.
  • A very important America’s Cup accomplishment to his credit was negotiating the deal for all syndicates US & Foreign the rental agreements with Salve Regina Collage for crew housing.


  • Class President
  • Was instrumentally involved in the growth of the class.
    • He structured the class rules
    • Building specifications
    • Negotiated the class builder/designer (Sparkman Stephens)
    • Fair royalty contracts

Max spearheaded a great deal of time and effort in promoting the Lightning class to Olympic status. It was in Niantic, Connecticut that Max first teamed up with Ted Turner. The effort and discipline Max contributed to the Lightning class was carried throughout his yachting adventures.

Martin J. O’Meara’s yacht club affiliations: New York Yacht Club.— Storm Trysail — Royal Thames — Niantic Yacht Club – Past Commodore 3 terms.

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