2024 World Rowing Championships in Varese with 450 athletes. GETTY IMAGES

The first tests are the qualifying and repechage rounds, which will continue until the semi-finals, with the final on Sunday 14 April. 34 countries will be represented. Men's single sculls world champion Zeidler and women's Karolien Florijn will be the favourites. It will be a test for Paris 2024.

The 2024 World Rowing Cup I starts on Lake Varese in Italy. It will run from 12 to 14 April 2024 with 34 countries taking part. Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and hosts Italy are the most represented countries.

The men's single sculls will be the largest category with 30 rowers and the current world champion, Oliver Zeidler of Germany, will be a standout. Zeidler has just won the 2023 Rowing World Championships. Zeidler will face stiff competition from world silver medallist Simon Van Dorp of the Netherlands. Zeidler was pushed to the limit by Van Dorp in Belgrade.

Another medal contender is Croatia's Damir Martin, who will be looking to build his confidence ahead of Paris. Norway's Kjetil Borch will be testing his speed ahead of the final Olympic qualifying regatta in May.

Representatives from 34 countries will be in Lake Varese, Italy. GETTY IMAGES
Representatives from 34 countries will be in Lake Varese, Italy. GETTY IMAGES

The men's double sculls will see the return of the Sinkovic brothers to Italy. They will be looking to defend their Olympic double sculls title later this year. Competition will be fierce, with the gold, silver and bronze medallists from Belgrade all competing. It could be a preview of the Olympic A final.

In the women's single sculls, Karolien Florijn arrives with an unbeaten run of 23 races. She will face tough competition from last year's World Cup I winner Virginia Diaz Rivas of Spain, young talents Alex Foester of Germany and Aurelia-Maxima Janzen of Switzerland. She will also face the return of 2018 and 2019 World Champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland.

The hosts will shine in the men's quadruple sculls. They won silver at the 2023 World Championships. In the women's lightweight double sculls, reigning Olympic champions Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini will be looking for a return to form in 2021. They will have to go through the final Olympic qualifying regatta to defend their title in Paris.

Oliver Zeidler is one of the main favourites to win in Varese. GETTY IMAGES
Oliver Zeidler is one of the main favourites to win in Varese. GETTY IMAGES

There will be seven teams in both the men's and women's eights. Great Britain and the Netherlands are expected to clash in the men's eights. Varese is the first rowing regatta of the season and an opportunity to find a rhythm before the Olympic regatta in Paris.

World Rowing has chosen the region of Andalusia and the city of Seville to be the host of an important and comprehensive series of prestigious world rowing events from 2024 to 2026.

The World Rowing Cup series began in 1997 and consists of three events. The overall winners of the World Rowing Cup are determined after the third event by points accumulated in all three events.

The three events in 2024 will be:

-Varese, Italy (12-14 April).

-Lucerne, Switzerland (24-26 May).

-Poznan, Poland (14-16 June).