“Jane and I have decided to pursue other interests and have been trying to sell the U-37. We have lost Beacon (Plumbing) as a sponsor but we are presently speaking with a couple potentials that are showing some interest ... Our team is still together and they are looking forward to racing next year. If we do not find a buyer and we do find a sponsor, then Jane and I will race the U-37 until we do find a buyer.”

U-37 owner Billy Schumacher (Courier file photo)
“Jane and I have decided to pursue other interests and have been trying to sell the U-37. We have lost Beacon (Plumbing) as a sponsor but we are presently speaking with a couple potentials that are showing some interest ... Our team is still together and they are looking forward to racing next year. If we do not find a buyer and we do find a sponsor, then Jane and I will race the U-37 until we do find a buyer.” U-37 owner Billy Schumacher (Courier file photo)
Billy and Jane Schumacher have decided to put their U-37 Unlimited hydroplane up for sale, but the team will operate as usual until a buyer is found, Billy Schumacher said Wednesday.

Responding in an e-mail, Schumacher confirmed what had been rumored that his team was up for sale.

"Jane and I have decided to pursue other interests and have been trying to sell the U-37," Schumacher said. "We have lost Beacon (Plumbing) as a sponsor but we are presently speaking with a couple potentials that are showing some interest."

The Schumachers have won four races since purchasing the former U-8 Racing Team from Bill Wurster in 2006. This year, driver Jean Theoret steered the U-37 to victory in the season opener at Evansville, but the team had three other potential wins snatched from it.

At Tri-Cities, Theoret was leading the final heat easily when the U-37's propeller broke entering the final lap. At Seattle, the 37 appeared to win the race on the water, but lost when the team was assessed a penalty. At San Diego, Theoret was thought to have won the race when several other boats were penalized at the start, but the victory was taken away two hours later when a post-race review of video determined that the U-5 Formulaboats.com had not started the final heat early.

The Schumachers' decision to pull out of the sport had been rumored for some time. Earlier this week, a post on an Internet blog stated that the crew had been laid off. Schumacher said in his e-mail that not only was the U-37 team still together, but the team may also race in 2009.

"Our team is still together and they are looking forward to racing next year," Schumacher said. "If we do not find a buyer and we do find a sponsor, then Jane and I will race the U-37 until we do find a buyer."

The changes within the U-37 Schumacher Racing Team is the first of what could be a rough off-season for the American Boat Racing Association fleet. The status of the U-10 USA Racing Partners is still up in the air after the death of co-owner Kim Gregory and unconfirmed rumors have speculated that the U-16 Miss Elam Plus team - which skipped four of the six races this season - may pull out as well.

The race schedule is also in flux. The race in Evansville - traditionally the season opener - has not been confirmed for 2009.