I've also heard that its not good to cut water and then sip on water day or 2 before the contest. It should be the same amount of water on Thursday, and then on friday you cut it and then don't drink until pre-judge and then if you are dry enough, you can sip a little bit between evening and morning to help reload some glycogen and i repeat IF you are dry... if you're holding water, on sat, you'd be better off eating some food, maybe a bit of sodium with carbs to help bring vascularity up therefore pulling some water to your blood plasma rather than being sub-cutaneous.
So basically it MAYBE should have looked like this:
Sun-Thurs 2 and a half gallons and then on friday you keep the same rate of water intake but cut 1-4 pm (time depending on what you feel is best for you)
then you don't drink until saturday AFTER pre-judge only IF you are dry and not that much... just a little bit of water like 500 ml spread throughout afternoon with your food to help reload some glycogen. If holding water, no drinking. If dry, you can get away with a little water.
Also... during your carb-load maybe you should not cut sodium too harshly. If your body detects that sodium intake is far too low, you'll produce a hormone that will tell your kidneys to retain sodium therefore retain water. So you should reduce sodium, but not completely zero... just slight reduction that way your body will piss out excess sodium. you still need a little sodium to prevent cramping and help with muscle fullness.
Not saying im a peaking expert but have had some experience and if what you are doing now isn't working, maybe give this protocol a try. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't but you gotta keep trying different methods till one day you'll nail it and know what works for you.
Again, I'm no expert. I'm still looking for the formula myself... I've peaked pretty good before but want to bring in a more shredded lower back, more prominent striations on quads, sharper hamstrings and the glutes... because I know that if the glutes get dry, I've pretty much done all I can to get conditioned. But so far, I haven't been conditioned enough to have a physique with these qualities. I'm still trying different protocols every contest until I nail it. Trial and error is the one of the best ways to learn.
But Blade is right... maybe you could have used a few more weeks of dieting to be lower fat to begin with.