deVere France’s Richard Bayle prepares for an epic transatlantic adventure
Many of us will be beginning to think about a relaxing summer holiday to counteract the long hours and commitment that it takes to be truly successful in our industry.
But the ‘Gérant’ of deVere France, Richard Bayle, who joined deVere in 2010, is preparing for a trip of a different kind. And this certainly won’t be a ‘holiday’ in the traditional sense.
Richard is gearing up to take his yacht, Surya – named after the Hindu god of the sun and also the Buddhist entity of protection – and two friends on an epic transatlantic crossing in the autumn. One of his crew has done a similar trip previously and the other, like Richard, has always wanted to do so.
He explains: “We’re planning on setting out from the French Mediterranean in late October or early November, but our Atlantic crossing will depend on the weather, as the key thing is that we need to be behind any hurricanes. We’ll then follow the trade winds and it should be ‘downhill’ all the way.
“There will be various stages of the journey. We’ll leave the south of France and head to Gibraltar, where we’ll stay over and stock up on provisions at Morrison’s! From there we’ll head down to the Canary Islands – probably Tenerife – and will seek to avoid getting caught up in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), a major sailing event attracting hundreds of boats.
“We’ll drop south to Cape Verde and then, theoretically, sail onto Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean. I expect the first half of the trip to take 20 days, the transatlantic crossing a further 20, so ‘40 days and 40 nights’ in total.
“My kids think I’m crazy and aren’t too happy about the whole thing. My wife Carol, however, understands and says ‘if you want to do it, you have to go and do it.’ She’ll be there to meet us in the Caribbean when we arrive.
So, how did Richard, a former magistrate, who besides his role as a senior wealth management professional sits on the board of several prominent charities, reach the decision to undertake such a challenge?
“Like many keen yachtsmen, it has long been an ambition to sail the Atlantic. But it goes deeper than that. In essence, it is to celebrate all I have achieved since I arrived in France, and particularly since I joined deVere,” says Richard.
He continues: “I got to France 15 years ago at the age of 52. Like all too many at that age it was a time of regrets, debts, mortgages, and private school fees.
“However, with lots of hard work and dedication, since that time I have a managed to buy a nice family home in the south of France, a couple of decent cars, a second home in the French Caribbean, and two yachts – all paid for. It’s a great feeling to know it’s all worked out successfully.
“I highlight this point as it goes to show what can be achieved within an organisation like deVere if you’re determined, ambitious and tenacious, and provide your clients with a results-driven service.
“When I joined deVere I was 63, which by many standards was ‘old’ to some people. Yet I believe anyone with the right attitude and focus can fulfil their dreams. The firm offers an unrivalled level of back-up, support and rewards.”
What does Richard think will be the biggest challenges of this remarkable adventure? I was expecting him to answer ‘the unpredictable elements’ or perhaps ‘the fatigue’. Instead, with a laugh, he replied: “probably putting up with the ‘idiosyncrasies’ of two other blokes – which on a boat for 40 days will undoubtedly be magnified!”
Richard concludes: “We don’t need help to fund the challenge itself, but we do support the following charities: Save the Children and SNSM, the French lifeboat service.”
Donations would be greatly appreciated to these incredible life-enhancing and life-saving causes.