Fenders also keep the Dock and Pilings from banging a boat's hull ..
On the coast we have heavy storms direct from the sea..
I have to remember when I last rode my fender/mudguard-less bikes.
they just are not the Go-To choice.
Favored.. with Mudguards , and the Hub Dynamo kit.
when I visited Belgium the word was kids wanting to be the next Merckx or Museeuw
didn't want to use mudguards , as they were emulating their racing heros, Spring's hard-men
and not wanting to be mistaken for Tourists.