As many of you know, a fire on the Isle of Wight on January 25, has had a major impact on the Cowes Etchells Fleet. News reports indicate that no lives were lost but many boats in storage were destroyed in the fire.

Fleet spokesman and 2016 Etchells World Championship regatta chairman, David Franks posted the following update on Facebook, "Approximately 14 Etchells appear to have been destroyed in the fire which started this afternoon in an adjacent car workshop.

We have already sourced equivalent replacements for nearly all of them. The Cowes Etchells Fleet will rise again in time for our first Regatta in April! Heritage's new build facility appears to be untouched, so boat building will resume very shortly. Thank you for all the good wishes and offers of help from various Fleet members."

Suffice to say that the planning for the 2016 World Championship is still moving forward and we wish the Cowes Fleet leadership and volunteers involved all the best.