Ben Ainslie Racing unveils giant Union Jack on Old Portsmouth base

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Picture: Malcolm Wells

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The Union Jack adorning the front of Ben Ainslie’s new base in Old Portsmouth is the biggest of its kind in the world, it has been revealed.

The News has been given a behind-the-scenes look at the new base, which is intended to be a permanent centre for the design, construction and running of world-class sailing boats.

Ben Ainslie Racing’s first major challenge will be the America’s Cup trials to take place off Portsmouth later this year.

Explaining the decision to commission the 35m by 12m flag, project manager Jonathan Goring said: ‘We had the opportunity to do something special with the door.

‘We thought why not create the biggest fabric Union Jack that’s ever been done?’

Mr Goring said the building, which is nearing completion, was unique in the way it brought an America’s Cup team’s design, boat crew, management and administration sections under one roof.

He said: ‘We thought, let’s do something no America’s Cup team has ever done before. Let’s build a new base here in Portsmouth where not only we will be able to design our boats for many generations to come but we can also invite visitors into.’