Brockbank's yacht underwriting arm Sextant International could face a claim for up to £2.6m if the round-the-world catamaran Team Philips is declared a total loss after its catastrophic accident at sea.

The stricken racing yacht, which is valued at £2.6m, had to limp back to its home port in Devon, when a 40ft section of its revolutionary fibre glass hull split away during trials off the Scilly Isles.

This was just two weeks after it had been officially launched by the Queen.

Sextant International, the yacht underwriting wing of Lloyd's managing agency Brockbank, which has insured the craft, has dispatched a staff member to Dartmouth, Devon, to investigate the extent of the damage.

A Brockbank spokeswoman said inquiries had yet to ascertain whether the damage was the result of a design fault or a construction failure.

Pete Goss, Team Philips' skipper, commented when the craft docked in Dartmouth, that it had been "a strange week".

He continued: "It's odd to think that only three days ago our port hull broke and in that time we have managed to get her back to her home port."

After carrying out repairs, Goss hopes to re-launch the vessel in time to take part in a round-the-world competition called The Race, which starts on December 31.