Certainly hear ya on sponsorship recognition and in-kind donations. The key is finding a sponsor whose target market aligns with the race, not easy to do in 2018 but possible.
I looked at some finish times for the F18 vs. F20c in the past 2 Florida 300's and it worked out that the best sailed F18 was on average 45 minutes behind the best sailed F20c per leg. That's not a ton of time and I'm starting to think getting the F18 north of Cape Fear has a little higher probability than the F20c. Flip side to that is getting the F20c around Hatteras is probably a better bet than the F18. I raced an Infusion vs. two Inter 20's including a Worrell vet last weekend in 20-25 kts and really nasty sea state, the I20 was just the better boat in the shorter chop.