Unless you are racing in sanctioned Laser Class races why not try an Intensity MK2 sail? Now on sale for $149 plus shipping. Comes with the new type battens. I have one and it's great. Our local fleet actually encourages their use to keep costs down and put everyone on an equal footing.
Check out the Intensity Sails anti turtle mast float for the c420. I use them for our junior class in c420s and it is almost impossible to turtle when used. No modifications are needed and it is pretty light.
Because if you are OCS in a pack of boats it's easy to pick out the one with draft stripes. For that reason in many competitive classes ( I also sail a Thistle) most boats are white so they don't stand out on the starting line.
Yep, I teach sailing/racing at a small club that should remain nameless, half of my students (victims) have learned to face backwards and steer frying pan from there parents. It's hard to break to habit, but it's the only way to sail most classes.