Sunshine and a great breeze made for perfect spectating, and it seemed like everyone who had access to a boat came out to watch the start of the Newport-Bermuda Race. Milling about before the start, Dorade never got lost in the crowd. With her distinctive mizzen and classic profile, she was easy to find even in the boat-infested waters of East Passage.

dorade2012newport-bermudastart Editorial Director John Burnham handles the mizzen as Dorade heads for Bermuda, over 600 miles away.

With an unusual northeast wind, the start was a broad reach for the first time in ten years. Most boats chose to parallel the line and then bear off and set a spinnaker as the gun went off.

Dorade chose a lane east of the group, perhaps the result of watching the first class start: All the boats farther west had been blanketed by the boats to windward. She quickly popped her white spinnaker and then a mizzen staysail, setting off camera shutters from helicopters, powerboats, and other sailboats as the classic beauty steamed off toward her destination.

The northeast wind is predicted to hold through the night, which will allow all the boats to eat up the miles, but is likely to make for a bumpy ride once they reach the strong currents of the Gulf Stream, with fickle eddies and meanders to challenge the fleet's navigators.

Check back often for updates from the race. You can also track Dorade’s progress to see how she does against her competitors. (Note: results are delayed six hours through Sunday morning).

Read our previous stories about Dorade:
Dorade Log 4: Bermuda Race Inspection
Dorade Log 3: Lessons in Light Air at St. Barth
Dorade Log No. 2: Like Dating Marilyn Monroe
Dorade Log No. 1: Skinny Genes