Welcome to the forum, Tom
Lots of things to consider in selecting a good first boat, size is one of them but too many other factors unknowns to us.
What are your goals for the boat and yourself, how many people are going to be involved and what is their degree of skill / physical ability and size and needs.
Location and general conditions where you will do your sailing. Many boat are great for protected areas and less so for open waters.
If your main interest is racing then that needs to be a larger factor than comfort/ on board storage and other amenities like pressure water/ hot water and types of electronics that may best be used for your specific needs.
My first sailboat was a 26 Chrysler with a small diesel engine and it was fantastic for me since I singlehanded much of the time and only used it for long weekend cruising not generally weeks/ months at a time.
Do a search on your question and you will see lots of comments from many people. Basically it is a subject / question that only you can answer since only you know what you want/ need / can afford, but you will gain some incite on some of the variables and opinions of different people... Lots of different opinions which you will have to filter through for usefulness.