SIXTEEN teams of motorists have set off from Weymouth for a 16-day mission into the unknown.

Organised by local fundraiser Steve Blackmore, the Windy 500 challenge sees motorists travelling across Europe to raise money for Julia’s House, and any causes the teams choose.

Rules state that the vehicles being driven must cost less than £500, and the drivers will not know where they are going until the destination is revealed each day.

Mr Blackmore organised a similar event last year, which saw the motorists visit 23 cities in 23 days, but said this year they wanted to focus more on each place they will visit rather than rushing from destination to destination.

Mr Blackmore is also taking part in a VW campervan with a team of eight people.

Before they set off he said: “I have been running around a lot recently trying to get it all organised but we are now all ready to go.

“I am looking forward to it; it’s going to be a good trip.

“We are only doing it for 16 days now, and are concentrating more on the things to do in each place we visit rather than just rushing from place to place.

“I think we have raised about £5,000 already but we will get more in after it has been completed. It is for good cause and I like doing things for local charities that help children.”

Chris Justice is taking part in the event for the first time, supported by wife Marion and daughter Tanya.

They are driving a 19-foot-long stretch limousine, which he bought for £499.

The family has already raised more than £1,500 to split between Julia’s House and Lewis Manning Hospice.

Mr Justice said: “The limo was destined for banger racing before I bought it and I resurrected it.

“Now I am just keeping everything crossed that it will work and that it will get us back home. I am feeling quite apprehensive about it, I just hope after the first couple of days it behaves itself, because it has been quite temperamental.”

To find out more about the trip or to donate, visit