I also have to respectfully disagree with you on your assertion about “offshore hulls” being out of their element on near-shore closed-course circuits. If a boat rolls in a turn, you don’t blame the boat, no matter how big it is or how tight the turn was. The overwhelming majority of offshore race boats, in fact, get through the turns without rolling. That’s a fact.
I have witnessed excellent near-shore closed course “offshore racing” action during the years across several classes from Super V Light to Super Cat. Without question, the compelling nature of those races was directly proportional to the number of boats in each class. While it only takes two boats to race, my feeling is it takes four for a worthwhile class. Otherwise, everyone gets to the podium.
Last but not least, while I can see lots of reasons why you might not like turbines in offshore racing, are you seriously attacking them for “shameless fuel gulping?” A Mercury Racing 1350 at wide-open throttle showed a burn rate of 200 gallons per hour per engine during a Powerboat magazine test I was part of. Joe Cibellis averaged 1 mile per gallon during his record-setting round Long Island run with Joe Sgro in a 43’ Outerlimits with 725-hp Ilmors.
My point? When it comes to fuel consumption in the high-performance boat world, it’s pretty much all shameless. And the general public will never accept any of it as efficient or economical.
So going back to my original point, which Chuck also seems to support, I think a hybrid offshore racing series with a mix of “courses” is doable and compelling. I think one or the other is problematic.