I attended a Dave Perry rules seminar this winter at SSA. He’s quite a character; very easy going and very funny. I had a blast and would definitely recommend taking any opportunity to see him that you get. (This was an SSA members-only event, or I would have invited everyone.)
Rules are something I’d really like to emphasize this season. At the outset, they look and sound overwhelming, but went you break them down, they’re not too bad. I think the best way for us to learn them is use the racing situations we see on the course.
In that regard, David (my son) and I are going to build a mini-magnetic boat set for us to use on LinGin to diagram different situations that we can discuss on the way to and/or from races. I’ll bring the 2005-2008 rules with us, and we can work through the basic ones.
Also, I highly recommend considering a membership in US Sailing (www.ussailing.org). It’s our national organizing body, and a very important part of our sport. When you join you get a copy of the current rules.