Books: anything by Dr. Stuart Walker, Buddy Melges,, Gary Jobson or even (dare I?) Dennis Conner will be valuable to learn from. Also Dave Dellenbaugh (sp?).
Articles from various sailing mags, Sailing World esp has a focus on racing and there are often primers for beginners.
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"