By Mike Rowbottom

Australia's eight at the 2012 World Cup in Lucerne ©Bongarts/Getty ImagesApril 15 - Olympic considerations have been a major factor in the World Rowing Cup schedules drawn up for 2015 and 2016, the sport's international body has announced.

In each year, all three World Cups will be at European venues in accordance with the wishes of coaches ahead of the Olympic qualification year and the Rio Olympics in 2016.

And the opening World Cups in each will be structured as double regattas with two sets of finals - one on Saturday and one on Sunday - allowing coaches to try different combinations in racing.

The opening World Cups in each year have also been timed to fit in with the annual European Championships.

World Rowing Cup I in 2015 is at Bled in Slovenia from May 8 to 10, with the European Championships scheduled in Poznan in Poland from May 30 to 31.

World Rowing Cup I in 2016 will be at Varese in Italy from April 15 to 17.

Host for that year's European Championships, to be held from May 7 to 8, will be announced at the European Rowing Congress in the Serbian capital Belgrade on May 31.

"There are two reasons for the placement of the first World Cup into May in 2015 and April in 2016," said International Rowing Federation executive director Matt Smith.

"First, is that the coaches asked that we return to a European-based World Cup series in the Olympic qualification year and the Olympic year.

"Second, is that the European Championships have become a really good event and its placement in the calendar works well for the teams.

"Therefore, the first World Cup will be a double regatta to allow the coaches to try two different line-ups in boats and to test their international levels at this early point in the season.

"For the future, we are looking at the possibility of staging main events in each continent on the last weekend of May – either a continental championship or a major regatta – and the teams that medal at these events would earn World Cup points."

World Rowing Cup II in 2016 will be held in Lucerne and will double as the Olympic trials ©Getty ImagesWorld Rowing Cup II in 2016 will be held in Lucerne and will double as the Olympic trials ©Getty Images

The second World Cup in 2015 will be held in Varese in Italy from June 19 to 21, and World Cup III will be at Lucerne in Switzerland from July 19 to 12, ahead of the World Junior Championships (Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Rio, August 6 to 9) and World Championships (Aiguebelette, France, August 30 to September 6).

In 2016, World Cup II will be held in Lucerne from May 28 to 29 and will double as the Olympic trials, with World Cup III scheduled for Poznan from June 18 to 19.

The Rio 2016 Olympics will take place from August 5 to 21.

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