I saw this coming back from a fishing trip in 2005. It’s not as bad as it seems.
I’m not sure how happy the operator of the lead boat was. One thing to keep in mind is that shooting with any telephoto tends to compress distance so they probably weren’t as close as it looks.
Also, when you overtake a boat, the boat being overtaken almost always has the right of way. The issue is the distribution of the wake. Close to the boat, there is usually, only one large wave from the wake. Further back, there are several smaller wakes. Each wake you plow through when overtaking causes the overtaking boat to lose energy. By overtaking close to the other boat, you just need to get through the one wave and then you are in calm water. If you are overtaking with a smaller boat you have to watch because as you get closer, you may be affected by the cavitation from the lead boat which will cause a loss of speed.
Larger boats like the one overtaking in this picture will have ‘stern rollers’. They are a series of wave that follow right behind a boat. When overtaking, you need to be careful to not get in a position where you go over the stern roller closest to the boat. It would be downhill from there. Take a look at the second picture below and you will see the larger boat executing his pass.
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