FAIRBANKS -

It could be very crowded on the trail when the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race is staged this winter.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 21 mushers signed up Saturday during the opening day of registration at the Yukon Quest cabin in Fairbanks.

Registrations will be accepted up until Jan. 2, but the number of mushers signed up already has outnumbered the 18 who competed in last year's race.

The 2015 race will start Feb. 7 in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and end in Fairbanks.

Rob Cooke of Whitehorse was the first musher to sign up Saturday, followed by defending champion Allen Moore. Brent Sass, who led for most of last year's race before an injury forced him to scratch, is also in the race.