Hi all. I've just arrived at Clearwater, FL for Masters Midwinters East. I won't have much time to moderate this week, so be nice to Bradley and don't be mean to each other! So says I. Yikes! The Gouvernail is wearing off. My husband John and I drove down with the Laser on top of our GMC Sierra truck. I had to climb up on top of the truck using a stepladder to get the Laser in place. There was a cold biting wind in Ohio when we got the boat, and I'm glad to be out of there. We also brought our 15 foot Boston Whaler for John to cruise around while I practice tomorrow. John has a Laser now that he will start sailing this summer. For now, he is a powerboat man. That suits me when I need safety patrol. Tomorrow we go to the Clearwater Sailing Center to get a spot for the Laser, and I will practice as much as possible. It has been 3 months since I sailed, so I have some "rust" to get off. Before that, though, we have to do a little stopgap repair on the Whaler. On the way down it bounced on the trailer at the bow and wore away the gel coat and into the fiberglass. The trailer setup is faulty, we realize now, and John had to do some alternative strapping down on the highway. He is going to epoxy the two inch hole in the morning. I hope the work doesn't cut into my time on the water! The Whaler has to be taken care of though, so what will be, will be. This will be my biggest regatta so far. I've only sailed in one regatta away from my club, and that had only a dozen Lasers, four Force 5s, and 6 Radials in staggered starts. Already at the Clearwater Yacht Club there are 44 people signed up for this Masters event, including three women. I was reading the Laser Class rules on the trip down and started to get nervous about the rub rail on my boat. I had forgotten about it. I put it on there with 5200 when I first got the boat and thought I wasn't going to race. Then when I got excited about racing, I e-mailed Jeff Martin, ILCA class secretary. He replied at first and asked for details on the rub rail. I sent the info to him with pictures and he never gave an answer. Next I posted about it here on the Measurer's Forum, and Gouvernail/Fred Schroth said that he would let someone with rubrail sail, but he would question their boat handling skills. No kidding, Fred. That's why I put it on there. So anyway, here I am wondering what will happen in the real world. Wish me luck, it's a lot of time, effort, and money to come here over 1000 miles. Just so you know, I am seriously considering trying to get the rub rail off of the boat before the spring sailing starts at home. For one, my boat handling has improved. And I suppose, having a strip of rubber all the way around the gunwale slows you down when you roll tack. It has to have a bit of friction over smooth gelcoat. So I'm off to review the Racing Rules of Sailing now and looking forward to tomorrow. The weather will be mid 70's, sunny, and light breeze. Wonderful.