I have been sailing for almost one year, and I feel a overwhelming gravitational pull toward the extreme end of the sport. I rest my laser at the interface of powerful opposing natural forces, wind and water. There is a simple beauty in leveraging my own strength, and grace and wits in a synthesis of these forces, and in so doing, making my laser move. And when the breeze is stiff and the waves are big, my boat and I move faster. It is then that a primordial, hormonal soup washes my lizard brain, and I smile through the spray and the chop. The dirty land falls away behind me, and I sail toward the horizon of my past into a simple, liquid serentity. But everything I read suggests that the ultimate form of expression in a laser is racing and regattas. I picked up a copy of the Rules this winter, but after 15 minutes of reading my head began to hurt. I found a computer simulation on the web that poses racing scenerios and quizzes you on the appropriate rules. The head pain held off for about 30 minutes, until I began to rapidly doubt I would ever be able to remember these rules when I was actually on the water surrounded by other moving boats. It seems to me that the Rules are an affront to the natural beauty of sailing a laser, and I fear that by immersing myself within these regattas, a beautiful piece of me will sink down below the surface of the great Columbia River and settle into the ooze amongst the sturgeon. Is it just me? Am I alone in my desire to fly in my laser as if on gossamer wings, unencumbered by the laws of man? Or am I a blasphemous, lesser evolved, slope-headed being that is unkept and unfit to post on a message board with civilized laser sailors? Is there anyone like me, a tribe of neanderthal laserites that have wheeled their seitechs into a cave and patiently sit on their hairy haunches at its dark entrance, waiting for a breeze stiff enough to bend the trees?