Ahead of the 2024 America’s Cup, we reached out to the captains of each team to ask them a few questions in order to get to know them a little better before the tournament kicks off on Thursday, February 29.

Introducing Helwig George, the captain and owner of Club Bacocho that will host the 2024 America’s Cup. 

(this has been edited for clarity)

Q: How did you get into Padel? And what do you love about it? 

A: A year and a half ago. They built a Padel club near our house in Oaxaca and I went to play with friends. Then I decided to put two courts at the beach club near the tennis court. That’s when it got a bit more serious and I started to take more lessons and play more matches. To learn something new and be humbled by a new sport with a new technique and a new challenge, that’s what I love about Padel. With all these people who never played tennis starting to beat me, I have a challenge. So I got very intense about getting better. 

Q: What’s the hardest part to learn about Padel?

A: The corners. And the side walls are difficult. Being patient on things like the overheads where you want to hit them but don’t always have to.   

Q: Yeah, the overheads are tough. What do you like most about the sport?

A: I love the rallies. There’s a lot of highlight points. You learn something new and apply it to a match and it becomes more fun as you get better. The points get longer. The fun of the game and the social part is very important I think. 

Q: How popular is Padel in a town like Puerto Escondido?

A: There’s definitely a lot of excitement around it. It’s still very new here and people are still learning about the game. They might have seen a video or two on Instagram about padel. It’s a small beach town where you surf and play tennis – padel is a new thing. It’s a slow process. 

Q: What’s the best feature about your Padel club?

A: The location, being right by the ocean is very unique, hearing the waves crash right before your serve, or watching the sunset between side changes is very special. It’s also very hot during the day. You can only play in the mornings and evenings. Right now it’s 32 degrees but feels like 40. 

Q: Are there any plans to build more courts at Club Bacocho? 

A: Yes, for sure, If things keep going well and people keep playing at our club and we get more events. Sadly the tennis court might have to go. I don’t know yet, see how we go. 

Q: A lot of padel players have different preferences on racquets. What racquet do you use? Why did you choose that one? Any advice for newbies trying to pick one?

A: I play with the old Wilson Bela Elite since it’s very comfortable and gives me a lot of feel on shots. It might not have the most power but it gives a lot of feedback when you touch the ball plus a big sweet spot. Advice? Try your friends’ racquets before buying one. High prices don’t always mean a better feel, especially for newbies.

Q: Ok, the America’s Cup is next week. How do you rate your chances of winning? 

A: We want to win and keep the America’s Cup in Puerto Escondido. Even though we are a new club from a small town, we were able to gather a good team of players and good friends. I hope our team leaves with new friends all over the place who share their love for padel, we hope to leave a great impression as a club and as a town for everyone who is coming to visit us, leaving them wanting to come back again. I think we have a good chance of winning, although I have no idea how the level in Red Padel is ranked and only one of our players has played Red Padel events in the past, we do have a local advantage and we do have a very strong D1 player!

Q: Hosting the America’s Cup on your property is special with so many players coming to play at your venue. What are you looking forward to the most when the tournament kicks off?

We’re super excited. It’s a big commitment from our side to host an event like this bringing people here who are traveling all the way from Chile – that’s like two or three flights to get here. The weather is amazing for people coming from colder places. I think that’s going to be super enjoyable. And I think the most important thing is having a good time playing padel. For our team this is about showing we are great hosts where we can play good padel but also throw a good party. 


Here’s Club Bacocho’s roster in full: Meet “Club Bacocho.”

You can visit Club Bacocho here