I hear you. It is by far the most annoying part of a bbq competition in my opinion.
I defat the skins the night before. Keep them as cold as possible and do them in batches of no more than 3-5 at a time. If they're a little frozen, that helps too. Use a very sharp knife and "filet" the fat off the skin just like you would a trout.
It's still a PIA, but doing it this way makes it at least bearable.
You're starting with a small field. Limit of 25 teams in the competitive class and $500 for GC. Not a bad little comp. Backyard should be even smaller.
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