Inducted into MNZ Hall of Fame: 2016
Sean Clarke’s ability on a motorcycle was recognised early on. He went from ripping around an old farm bike at just 11 years old to finishing in the placings at the NZ Junior Motocross Championships in the early 80s.
He then made the change from Motocross to Enduro, again showing he had the ability to perform at top level. In 1998 he won the national title at home – the New Zealand Enduro Championship – and took out the Australian Enduro Championship (A4DE) for good measure.
From there, Clarke’s dominance of the discipline continued and he won a further 17 New Zealand national titles from 1992 to 2015. He also won the popular Tarawera 100 on one occasion and was runner up five times.
Clarke went on to compete further afield and represented New Zealand at International Six Day Enduro Races (ISDE) on a number of occasions. Winning Gold Medals when the ISDE was held in Australia in 1992 at Cessnock and 1998 at Traralgon, he also claimed silver medals in 2005 in Slovakia and 2008 in Greece.
Looking for new challenges, Clarke turned his skills to the Red Bull Romaniacs, an Extreme Enduro event held over four days, testing rider and machine. He finished ninth in 2011, won his class in 2013, placed third in 2014 and fourth in 2015.
Clarke doesn’t just compete in the sport of Enduro, he was the MNZ Commissioner for a number of years and an event organiser.
He was key to the 2006 ISDE being held in New Zealand, quickly being appointed as the Event Director and the FIM accredited Clerk of the Course for the event. The planning started in 2004, with many of months of preparation required. He quickly gained the confidence of everyone from landowners to government departments to the hundreds of volunteers involved.
As a consequence of the successful event, New Zealand won the prestigious Watling Trophy, the first time in its history it went to event organisers rather than a team, and Clarke was the Administrator of the Year in the South Waikato Sports Awards.
Sean Clarke is a true ambassador to the sport.