Painting and racing rules

If I wanted to paint the hull, or perhaps just the topsides, would that cause a problem with the rules of racing? I saw something about not allowing coatings on the hull.
What options are there for changing color other than paint, and what is involved?

I think the rules only apply to temporary coating below the waterline.  Marine grade hull paint is not an issue for what you are describing.
Hopefully others will chime in here
From the Class Rules:  No temporary coating of grease, graphite, pot lead, etc. is allowed on the hull, center-board or rudder. Waxing of the hull, centerboard and deck may be done at the option of the owner. (See also CMR’s #28 & 72)
 From Meaurers Rulings:  Any bottom coating which is represented by the manufacturer as designed to last one season is not a “temporary coating” and therefore not prohibited under the provision of S-V-3. Any legal coating may be applied only once per calendar year. (revised March 2013)
Happy Painting!
Honeybadger, FS5846

Any paint that is permanent and doesnt create a boundary layer of extra slipperiness, by bleeding off into the water is OK.
That said, is your gelcoat really bad?  You might be surprised at how nice you can get the boat back, unless the gelcoat is cracked, crazing or really scratched up.
Do you sail in fresh or salt?  Do you store the boat in the water, or on the trailer?
if stored in the water, or the gelcoat is really bad, then paint is good, otherwise, I see it as a last resort.

There are some spots that need minor gel coat repair. Some stress fractures and a couple of gashes from groundings. Is repairing the gel coat possible?