I wonder if restricting yourself to the top half of the map limited your maximum score? Maybe a more selective loop around the top would have allowed you to get some sort of loop in around the bottom and to pick up the big point controls down there. The south might have felt more open and faster going too.
I think we made several errors in planning and modifying the route on the go but the main one was that we weren't selective enough with our points collecting. A couple of low point controls really cost us big time. If we have been more selective we probably would have done a loop to the south.
I just need to do a bit more practice planning on courses where we can't get the majority of the controls. Probably done too much recently where planning was easy because we needed to collect most.
I feel as though the course was about 20% larger than it needed to be - I couldn't even begin to know where to start with the planning! Susanne & Plaxy were very focused on points/km and had even done numerous armchair sessions on planning, but came unstuck in the NE corner when they had to reroute to get water. So maybe our planning 'on the hop' wasn't the worst thing...I was trying to conserve energy by avoiding hills, so we never went south into the ranges.
The main thing I'd probably have done if I were a course planner would have been to put 2-3 more controls in the vicinity of the HH so that teams weren't restricted to getting only 2 controls in the last 6km.