The number of keelboat class entries at Cowes Week 2011 has soared to 100, it has been revealed.

The increased number is the “largest ever seen” in the XOD class at Asset Management Cowes Week, according to class captain William Norris.

The annual sailing event will run from August 6 to the 13 this year, with the XOD class set to be the most-sought after prize.

Captain Norris added: “XOD owners don’t want to miss being in the spotlight this year, so they are all keen to join in the celebrations to mark our Centenary; 100 years since the first XOD fleet raced in 1911.”

The competitive spirit of the event still exists today with the keelboat class among the hardest to win because of the large number of teams that take part in it.

Another highly coveted prize at the event is the Captain’s Cup, the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Class Trophy.

With all the events set to attract sailors, families and professionals from across the country, the Cowes race committee could be facing a challenge.

Stuart Quarrie, the CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. said: “100 plus boats on the start line is quite a challenge for any race committee, especially having to consider the other 40 classes racing at the same time.”

The world-class events at Cowes Week could also boost the popularity of corporate sailing days and sailing holidays across the UK, as more and more people consider staycations this year.