WORCESTER crews entered for the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta have dodged Friday's qualifying races.

Henley stewards, including Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent, decided they did not need to qualify after performing so well in recent months.

So Worcester will go directly to the knock-out stages of the competition in Henley-on-Thames between Wednesday, July 4, and Sunday, July 8.

The eight entered in the Thames Challenge Cup reached the final of the senior three eights at Reading Amateur Regatta, beating tough opposition from Bristol, Hampton School and Reading.

The coxless four of Jed Greenhouse, Chris Beech, Andy Grant and Gareth Hooper won the Wyfold Challenge Cup at Nottingham Regatta and made the Marlow Regatta final.

Club captain Pete Crozier and chairman Jeremy Richardson are taking part in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls' Challenge Cup alongside the reigning world champions from Australia.

At the National Veteran Championships, Worcester RC won gold in three events.

Crozier and Richardson won the veteran B' pairs, while Claire Crozier won the women's veteran A' single sculls which also involved Jill Salvin.

Sam Dennis, Jim Swann, Chris Couper and Steen McCollin took gold in the veteran B' coxless fours.

The club, backed by car dealer Hylton Motors, is sending men's, women's and junior crews to Ironbridge Regatta this weekend.