Re: I think I may do some racing!!!
Mosty cost-effective preparations for racing are:
1) Remove all unnecessary weight. You've only got a limited amount of power in your sails and you have to accelerate the total mass of the boat and everything on it each time you tack.
2) Study the rules and understand them. Every other skipper expects you to know them and will use your lack of knowledge against you if you don't.
3) Learn that going fast in the wrong direction doesn't help you.
Remember, a yacht race is won by the boat that makes the fewest mistakes. Accept that you will have to put in your time at the back of the fleet before begining show any great results from all your effort. Good luck and have fun!