(CNN)The Japanese organizer of the World Cup sailing competition has apologized for its decision to open the event near Tokyo with a show of captive dolphins performing tricks.
The Japan Sailing Federation issued the apology Tuesday after participants criticized the performance, including British Olympic silver medalist Luke Patience.
"Couldn't be more embarrassed with what I'm witnessing," Patience tweeted following the event. "We are sailors, and apparently a 'green' sport."
He later apologized on social media for "any offense" that he may have caused, explaining that he was "shocked" that sailors would be taken to the dolphin aquarium for the ceremony.
"As a sport, I hope we can show more morality than this," Patience added.
World Sailing, the sport's overseeing body, also expressed its regret in an email to organizers of the event, according to Japanese national broadcaster NHK.
It said that it had not approved the event, and hadn't received a request for permission from their Japanese organizing counterparts.
The World Cup event, which is being held at the competition venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is being considered a dress rehearsal for the global sport bonanza.