Its great to have the opportunity for discussion and voting on this issue. My preference would be for Option 3, solely on the basis that if I was planning on competing in the the National Circuit, I would sail the minimum number of events (due to travel costs and distances). It would also be good to be able to come to Medway to sail in the nationals, but that would necessitate 5 trips across the water, which is not feasible.
There is no reason why the winner of the Nationals would not be seen as the best in the country at that time – the Nationals should always be the premiere event – it could still be the premiere event if it was included as one of the circuit events. The nationals would likely be the most difficult of all of the events to do well in, but for those with limitied numbers of free weekends or time off, including the nationals as one of the 4 events would make it more likely that there would be a higher number of boats counting four results and taking the National Circuit more seriously.
All the best,