I'm not sure you would be able to get halyard like the one on the wave out of the V stop while sailing in rough conditions, by yourself. I like the idea of extra ring hooks, but they will most likely poke holes in your sail while fully raised.
There is no system I know of for reefing an 18. Any Hobie with a CompTip would have a problem reefing due to the plastic luff track. They need to be fully hoisted to lock and stay within the track. We added an extra aluminum section to the Sport Cruiser for this purpose, you could try that, but keeping the sail head in the aluminum is critical. Otherwise the luff pulls out. It is a tough balance between halyard tension and downhaul / mainsheet tension.
It would be the same for the 17.
Im running out of battery life on the computer, I'll think about it some more, and if I get any crazy ideas i'll post it.
What kind of 17 do you have, a SE or a sport?
How have the Hobie 18's that raced in that race previously handled reefing?