A CHARITY balloon race is back on- but no balloons will actually be released.

Tony Beeson from Weymouth lifeboat station said: “We are now going to go ahead with the balloon race but will not actually release any balloons into the environment, but instead we will hold a 'virtual' balloon race.”

The rules are simple, the balloon tags, which would have been attached to the balloons and released at 2pm at the lifeboat station on May 5, will now be placed into a drum and once every five days for the duration of the six week race, a number of balloon tags will be drawn, at random from the drum.

The balloon's final destination will be calculated as if the wind had blown the balloon over the previous 24 hours. The average direction of the actual wind, along with the recorded strength of the wind, will be used to identify the balloon's final position.

The virtual race will run for six weeks and the first four tickets drawn on June 16 will be the winners. Only 30per cent of the tickets will be drawn over the six weeks as only about that percentage have their tags returned in a proper balloon race, the organisers have said.

A planned litter pick will still go ahead at some point after June 16- more details will be released once the virtual race is under way Tickets are just £1 and will once again be on sale from the lifeboat station and Bussells Chandlers in Hope St. The 'virtual' balloon race will start as originally planned at 2pm on Monday 5th May at the Lifeboat Station.