Photo/IllutrationA sailing race in the World Cup Series Enoshima off the coast of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Sept. 11 (Shinichi Iizuka)

The Japanese organizer of a World Cup sailing event south of Tokyo apologized for holding a “surprise” dolphin show that drew outrage from international competitors and a scolding by the sport’s governing body.

At the Sept. 9 opening ceremony of the World Cup Series Enoshima on Enoshima island, dolphins performed jumping tricks in front of sailors and other parties at Enoshima Aquarium near the event venue.

Some competitors from abroad, who are opposed to the capture and display of dolphins, expressed their dismay on Twitter.

“Couldn’t be more embarrassed with what I’m witnessing. We are sailors, and apparently a ‘green sport,’” said a tweet by a competitor, posted with a picture of the dolphins jumping.

Hirobumi Kawano, president of the Japan Sailing Federation and chairman of the organizing committee, said the dolphin show was intended to be “a surprise that symbolizes Enoshima.”

“We received many positive responses, but it is a sensitive issue on which people from different countries have different opinions,” Kawano said. “We would like to apologize to those who were offended by the show.”

World Sailing, an organizer of the World Cup series and the international governing body for the sport, said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with the performance.

“All content in Opening and Closing Ceremonies of World Sailing events must be pre-approved by World Sailing and no such approval was given nor sought from the Organizing Committee for the show,” the statement read.

The statement also said “World Sailing does not condone displays of this nature,” noting that one item on its sustainability agenda is “to mitigate negative impacts sailing can have on marine cetaceans.”

The sailing competition will be held through Sept. 16 at the Enoshima Yacht Harbor in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The small island is close to the mainland, and its natural beauty and the aquarium make it a popular destination for couples and tourists.