Looks like you've got the right idea. Your club also seesm to be doing something right -- 28 boats in your division, that's a really good sized fleet.
I raced in the Annapolis Wednesday night series for 20 years and while there were lots of boats, I don't thing there ever was a class that big.
As everyone has pointed out, racing really makes you learn about your boat. I know it took as about three years of racing and practice before we could consistently place up at the top and we all had a lot of years of sailing experience but very little big boat (I had a C&C 40) racing. From what you've written it sounds like you're ahead of the curve. In any case, we raced against a lot of really good sailors and most of them were more than happy to discuss tactics after the races -- that and practioce was how we learned. After a while we were on the other side trying to help out newbies.
There will always be loudmouths no matter where you go or what you do but with that many boats in your group they should be easy to avoid. We found that mostly they talked a better game than they sailed .
I gave up the Wednesday night series mainly because I couldn't get there in time for the first race. (Work is a bitch)
Anyway good luck and good sailing.