Beachgoers across the Lake Michigan shoreline are now being cautioned to avoid the water Sunday after strong winds and waves caused about 24 motorboats to bow from the annual sailboat race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan.

First locked in 1898, it is the earliest annual freshwater distance race on the planet. Winners are determined with different handicapping system.

Waves of 5 to eight ft were forecast. Strong rip currents, which happen most frequently in low spots or breaks in sandbars, and powerful structural currents, which form along piers, can sweep people into much deeper water, were also both expected Sunday.

“Exposed beaches are more inclined to experience the most important wave and current impacts,” based on the weather service. “Impacts at beaches with protective breakwalls or jetties is going to be susceptible to the orientation of structures in addition to wind and wave direction.”

The Nation’s Weather Service cautioned Sunday morning that “Life threatening waves and currents are anticipated in the beaches. People going to the beaches should avoid the water.”

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