Top sailors Brian Thompson and Dee Caffari painting the Union Flag. Picture by Robin Crossley.
RECORD breaking offshore sailors Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson picked up a paintbrush to make their mark on the world’s largest permanent image of the Union Flag.
Lending a hand with the red, white and blue were Cowes artist Lynn Young, East Cowes mayor Cllr Jane Rann and a dozen pupils from Holy Cross Primary School, with headteacher Tim Eccles.
Caffari said: "Nobody can deny 2012 makes you proud to be British and it’s awesome to have this flag on our doorstep.
"Every sailor and every visitor to Cowes sees this flag, it is something to be very proud of."
The flag was originally painted on the mammoth doors of the famous Columbine shed at East Cowes, in 1977, to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and was only supposed to stay in place for the year.
On Friday, the Artemis Offshore Academy gave the doors a new lease of life to celebrate the diamond jubilee.
As painting got underway, horseplay broke out between the two elite sailors, with Thompson threatening to dunk Caffari in blue paint.
Not to be outdone, she got her own back with a well-placed stroke on Thompson’s nose.
Built by British aero and marine engineering company, Saunders-Roe, in 1935, the Columbine shed now hosts the Artemis Offshore Academy for solo offshore sailors.
The Union Flag. Picture by Robin Crossley