The DRV, the German rowing federation, has called on its European counterparts to buy in to its Rowing Champions League initiative, a pan-European league aimed at drawing interest from broadcasters and sponsors alike.
The DRV made its pitch during the annual general assembly of the European National Rowing Federations in Belgrade, Serbia, where Brandenburg, in the east of Germany, was awarded hosting rights to the 2016 European Rowing Championships.
It said the Champions League would stimulate club rowing, and asked national federations to create their own sprint regattas that could lead to qualification for a final in Berlin on 20 September that would be organised by the DRV, with the local LRV Berlin club playing host.
The DRV staged its own qualifying round for the inaugural final in Frankfurt on 1 June.
Last month, the DRV signed a contract with RCL Rowing Champions League GmbH, the Germany-based organisation backing the Champions League, which will feature Europe’s best men’s and women’s eights competing over a sprint distance format in an easy to follow concept that it claims will appeal to television broadcasters and sponsors alike.
The aim would be to stage the Rowing Champions League final in different cities in Europe each year.
A number of member federations made proposals at the general assembly, with Romania suggesting the introduction of a European Under-23 Championship and Switzerland demanding a change in the bid process timeline.
The Swiss Rowing Federation said it wants the European Rowing Championships awarded four years in advance, rather than two at present, to give hosts more time to prepare.
The European National Rowing Federations will convene again during the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam at the end of August to further discuss some of the proposals made in Belgrade, where the 2014 European Rowing Championships have just finished.
Bradenburg was unopposed in the bidding for the 2016 event. The city last staged the women's edition of the European Rowing Championships in 1972, a year before the event was taken off the rowing calendar. It returned in 2007.
Also in Belgrade, Trakai in Lithuania was awarded the European Junior Rowing Championships, also in 2016. Trakai, which hosted the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2013, received 21 votes to be selected over Brest in Belarus, which got nine votes.