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'Addicted' Iowa windsurfer keeps coming back for more

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Regatta veteran Larry Reed, Dallas Center, Iowa, registers for weekend events Friday afternoon in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- When the wind blows the annual Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival into town, it invariably brings with it Larry Reed of Dallas Center, Iowa.

Reed, a self-proclaimed "wind junkie," has come to Worthington annually ever since the town's first regatta weekend in 2000, having learned of the event somewhat by chance.

"I have a buddy who was passing through the area earlier that spring and happened to stay at Olson Park," Reed explained. "He picked up a flyer, and we came for the first year.

"That Saturday night, we sat around a campfire at Olson Park, singing, playing guitar and jamming, and that was kind of the start of the Unvarnished Music Festival, too."

Reed has been windsurfing for about 15 years. He also owns a sailboat, which he takes out on Saylorville Lake closer to his hometown (about 30 miles northwest of Des Moines).

"This sport is a little bit addictive, so we have our regatta there, too, around the third week of May," Reed said. He and his Dallas Center windsurfing friend invited local regatta coordinator Jeff Hegwer to run the Saylorville Regatta, too.

But when June arrives, Reed plans to be in Worthington.

"This venue is incredible," he expressed, gesturing toward Lake Okabena, the bike path and Sailboard Beach. "I've roller-bladed down this bike path, videotaping everything along the way, and have recruited a lot of people to come here."

When he's not windsurfing or sailing, Reed installs seed-processing equipment for an Iowa-based company -- but the wind and waves are never far from his mind. And, despite being a four-hour drive from his own home, neither is Worthington.

"I don't even check the forecast for the Worthington regatta weekend," he admitted. "I just have it on my calendar every year.

"This is a good habit."

Here are the final results of weekend competition at the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta (name, followed by sail number):

Sport Fleet Overall: 1. Mark Schmitz (5). 2. Igor Tereshchenko (308). 3. Kylan Johnson (MN2). 4. Kelly Johnson (MN11). 5. Andrea Gratton (42). 6. Matt Volenec (6). 7. Glenn Kremer (52).

A-Fleet Overall: 1. Steve Callaway (1330). 2. Randy Howell (1367). 3. Jeff Adamski (1247). 4. Del Carpenter (1372). 5. Randy Moon (1242). 6. Gregg Anshus (4). 7. Larry Reed (IA01). 8. Mike Fox (MF).

A-Fleet Unlimited: 1. Arden Anderson (EL11). 2. Adam Anderson (EL111). 3. Steve Johnson (MN1). 4. Andy Gratton (USA81). 5. Peter Hartwich (PJ1). 6. Ray Muller (CAN87). 7. Alex Monroe (USA292). 8. Wayne Anderson (EL). 9. Randy Johnson (RJ).