This is a graet race to check out, but it is NOT a race for a first time racer. You would do better to race with a local club, preferably when they do their fun "beercan" races, often on a wednesday evening.
Just to give you an example, my husband has been racing sailboats for 30+ years, not just as a hobby a few times a year. As a teen and young adult, they (hubby and brothers) raced and traveled the country. He hasn't finished the last 3 years of Miami to Key Largo. Last year the Coast Guard followed him to the dock -- after every agency came out and took pictures of them sailing with the entire hull underwater. Ok, it's not a Hobie, and when he raced cats it was a NACRA. I was the Hobie sailor.
In case you are thinking that can't happen to you, the 4 guys on the boat (not a Hobie) all have at least 25 years of experience and the youngest is a professional. He flew in from the Chesapeake area to sail with the 3 guys that he knew to be very good sailors. They relied on dozens of years of sailing experience and good prep work to get back to a dock. They have sailed in the area their entire lives.
If it is really heavy out, you might be able to get on a boat in Miami-Key Largo as crew -- a different type of boat that is large enough to add on a few new sailors. We call the sail along people "rail meat". I don't ever want to discourage people from joining in wholeheartedly. You would get a feel for the open Atlantic, navigating under bridges with heavy current (hubby turned turtle there a few years ago despite knowing what he was doing) and the tendency for that weekend to be really wild and windy. Narly is the most perfect description for it.
Check out the pictures on the photographers site from last years race. He happened to do a great job of catching our boat flying as fast as you'll ever see it going. He also did a decent job of showing how nasty the first part of the race was, and that was before it got rough.
Sailing is a one of a kind experience. Maybe I'll see you around the docks. That is where I will be. Miami - Key Largo is a little too high adventure for me to do anything but help prep the boat and then drive the trailer to wherever the boat finishes!
BTW, the beercan races often include a raft up after. It's a great time. After a few dozen of those, a race to try on the east coast that I know of is the Hospice by the Sea Regatta. Still not really for very new racers, but 10X safer than the Miami race. That one is in May off of Fort Lauderdale. Plan to make the skippers meeting and then stay until late Saturday night (Read: Sunday morning) You aren't going to drive up to a race like this on Saturday morning. Also, the mojitos are really really good at the after race BBQ party. They are good at the skippers meeting too!
A large part of sailing is the sailing community. There is so much to learn and people to meet and good times to be had. You won't want to rush through with only minutes to setup and go and then pack right back up and drive off. There are hours of good times for every hour that you are sitting in salt water wet pants.