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MacArthur's story fails to win

MacArthur chroniciled her life from land-locked town to sailing success.
MacArthur chroniciled her life from land-locked town to sailing success.

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LONDON, England -- British sailor Ellen MacArthur's autobiography failed to win a British book award, losing out to veteran television presenter David Attenborough.

MacArthur's "Taking on the World" was competing against Attenborough's "Life on Air," and the autobiographies of experienced BBC war correspondents John Simpson and Kate Adie in the WHSmith Book Awards.

The WHSmith awards are known as the "People's Choice" because they are the only literary awards to be voted for entirely by the public, the UK Press Association reported.

Announced in London on Tuesday, the awards also included business, home and literature books.

In her autobiography, 26-year-old MacArthur describes life from land-locked Derbyshire to success as a round-the-world solo sailor.

She saved her school dinner money for eight years to buy her first boat -- a dinghy. By the age of 18 she had won the Young Sailor of the Year award, and was Yachtsman of the Year 1998.

She became the fastest Briton to sail round the world single-handedly when she came second in the Vendee Globe race, completing it in 94 days.

Her most recent adventure, to skipper the fastest crewed boat around the world, ended when the mast of Kingfisher2 was irreparably broken in late February.

Kingfisher2 took 13 days to reach the Australian port of Fremantle. MacArthur has no plans to attempt the round-the-world record again this year.

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