There are so many possible sailing boats that one might want to own/sail. The major decisions are: number of crew; number of hulls; club rules and fleets; and budget. Once those major decisions are decided you can start to look at classes.
Laser: this boat is almost without fail the most popular performance single hander with number now up to the 200K mark. It is the obvious starting point for anyone looking to return to sailing and racing.
*** EDIT 29th Oct 2011 ***
So, I’m still looking at Boats and after some amazing kitesurf sessions in the last month have decided a budget of £500-£1000 is all I can a) afford and b) justify. I’m also a little concerned that a single man trapeze boat could be a little more than I could handle at this early stage. The lake I sail on can be gusty and with busy start lines I don’t want to be the one causing the accidents (top route to popularity). This has led me to think of other options:
Fancy Something Faster…
All important if you are looking at FAST boats is the Portsmouth Yardstick.
Once you have got your skills set back to speed you may want to upgrade to something with more performance that presents a greater challenge. Since the late 1990s there has been huge evolutional steps made and there now exists a number of high performance single hander skiffs.